The 26-year-old Stafford is the same age as former Ravens center John Urschel, who surprisingly elected to hang up his cleats Thursday. Urschel’s decision came thanks in part to an alarming medical study showing that chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was found in 99 percent of deceased NFL players’ brains that were donated to scientific research, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. It’s unknown, however, if the study is affecting Stafford’s thought process.
If he does walk away from football, Stafford will do so without ever having played a down for the Steelers. He signed with Pittsburgh in May after spending the first four years of his career in Tennessee, where he only started in eight of 62 appearances. Stafford saw an uptick in playing time last year, though, as he logged a career-best six starts and combined for 855 snaps (614 on defense, 221 on special teams). He accumulated 51 tackles, an interception and a sack along the way.
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