Former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Gary Plummer sustained a shocking number of concussions during his 12-year NFL career, and is still dealing with the effects today.
Plummer, who played in the NFL from 1986-1997, opened up about the head trauma he experienced while appearing on "The 49ers Insider Podcast." Including Grade 1 concussions, which are considered mild with no loss of consciousness, Plummer estimates he suffered 2,500 over the course of his career.
"If you're not getting at least 10 of those a game, as a middle linebacker in the NFL, that means you didn't play that day," Plummer said. "I played 250 games. So (with) at least 10 a game, that's 2,500 concussions."
Since retiring, Plummer has experienced memory loss, trouble sleeping, headaches, and severe anxiety. However, he said he's been able to reduce some of the symptoms through hobbies like yoga and gardening.
"I'm close to 75 percent better now," he said. "I wish more players understand early onset dementia is something that happens to us from the CTE, from all the concussions. Basically, what it's doing is aging our brains faster than normal. So all these things I had been going through were accelerated by what I came to know after my career, in terms of the definition of concussions."