Chris Borland, the standout rookie linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers, is retiring according to a report from ESPN’s Outside the Lines. The 24-year-old former Wisconsin star cited his long-term health and concerns over head trauma as the factors, saying he wanted to be “proactive.”
“I just honestly want to do what’s best for my health,” Borland told “Outside the Lines.” “From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.”
Borland joins fellow 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, who retired earlier this month. According to the OTL report Willis’ decision didn’t play into Borland’s decision.
On a bigger level, Borland’s decision should restart the debate over football, safety and concussions. A second year player with star potential deciding to hang it up with make people take notice. The former third round said he only had two diagnosed concussions, both prior to college.
Suffice to say few NFL teams in recent memory have had as drastic an offseason as the 49ers after parting ways with coach Jim Harbaugh following the season.