Ravens’ John Urschel, lineman and PhD candidate, retires from NFL aged 26

NFL lineman retires after three seasons to pursue PhD, decision reportedly linked to CTE study released two days ago 

By  Guardian Sports | Thursday 27 July 2017 16.00 EDT


Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel has abruptly retired from the NFL after just three seasons, the team announced on Thursday.

The 26-year-old from Winnipeg, who is a doctoral candidate in applied mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was expected to compete for a starting role at center or guard in training camp, which gets under way this week in suburban Baltimore.

Urschel’s surprise decision comes two days after the release of a medical study that further underscored the link between the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and participation in football. Researchers at Boston University and the Boston Veterans Affairs health system examined 111 deceased NFL players’ brains that were donated to scientific research and found CTE in 110 of them, or 99% of those studied.