There is still no test for the degenerative brain disease CTE, which was found in a number of former NFL players after they died.
The latest revelation came Thursday when Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, a convicted murder who committed suicide in April, was found to have CTE, a lawyer for the family said.
On Friday, former Chiefs running back Larry Johnson said he believes he has CTE, which stands for chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Physician Eugene Gu tweeted: “Aaron Hernandez had advanced CTE. The NFL must address this devastating occupational health hazard for all its players. Immediately.”
To which Johnson replied: “If he had it. I know for certain I’m living with it. Even if he had the chance to test for it, they still wouldn’t of found it.”
Johnson, who was a two-time Pro Bowler for the Chiefs, didn’t elaborate on why he believes he has CTE.
A test for CTE can only happen after a person has died, but researchers are hopeful they can find a test that can be used on players who are living.
The Chiefs selected Johnson in the first round of the 2003 draft (27th overall), and he played in Kansas City until 2009 when he was traded to the Bengals.
Johnson holds team records for most rushing attempts in a game, season and career, and he has the most rushing yards in consecutive seasons, 3,539 in 2005-06. Johnson is third on the Chiefs’ career rushing list behind Jamaal Charles and Priest Holmes.
In May, Johnson opened up about his off-the-field troubles, saying “I basically ran amok in Kansas City.”
A Journal of the American Medical Association study found that CTE was neuropathologically diagnosed in 110 of the 111 brains of former NFL players.