FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 22: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

A groundbreaking study from Boston University found earlier this week that more than 99 percent of the brains of deceased former NFL players could have the neurodegenerative disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

The study looked at the brains of 111 dead former NFL players and found that 110 of them had CTE. That study has gotten the attention of players, too.

Star Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that this could be his last season, in part due to the effects CTE could have on his brain.

“Just all those things combined — being healthy, being able to play catch with my kids. I feel good mentally, I know this new study that came out that 90 percent [of NFL] players’ brains who were studied had CTE.

“There’s a lot of scary things, and I think my wife would be OK if I hung it up, too. But I still love the guys, I still love the game, so it was right for me to come back and give it everything I have this year.”

Roethlisberger is known for his aggressive style of play, and he rarely shies away from hits when he runs.

This news comes after Baltimore Ravens center John Urschel abruptly retired Thursday at age 26.

The NFL has been hesitant to accept the overwhelming consensus on CTE, and even its half-hearted attempts at studying the disease have ended poorly—its relationship with the National Institute of Health fell apart after it objected to a study run by none other than Boston University. The league has tried to put PR resources into things like USA’s Heads Up Football, which focuses on “safer tackling” for younger players, but all the objective research has shown that safer tackling doesn’t really exist—the only thing researchers have found that makes football safer is playing less of it.

More studies will come out about CTE, and it’s likely they’ll be just as damning. As the evidence piles up, it’s going to be harder for the players, and the NFL, to ignore.

[Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

About Kevin Trahan

Kevin mostly covers college football and college basketball, with an emphasis on NCAA issues and other legal issues in sports. He is also an incoming law student. He's written for SB Nation, USA Today, VICE Sports, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.