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Originally published April 22, 2014 at 7:53 PM | Page modified April 22, 2014 at 10:39 PM

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Ex-Jacksonville linebacker Russell Allen retires, says he suffered stroke in game

Former Jacksonville linebacker Russell Allen will retire after suffering a concussion and a stroke in a Jaguars game in December.


The Associated Press

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former Jacksonville linebacker Russell Allen will retire after suffering a concussion and a stroke in a Jaguars game in December.

Allen told MMQB.si.com he has a dead spot — no bigger than a dime — on his cerebellum, which is a part of the brain that controls muscle coordination.

The Jaguars released Allen, 27, last week after his personal physician consulted with the team’s medical staff before a scheduled physical.

Jaguars officials declined to comment Tuesday, citing medical privacy laws. Allen, who lives with his wife and son in San Diego, did not immediately return a message left on his cellphone.

“I told my story so athletes understand you can’t ignore head injuries,” Allen posted on his Twitter page. “If you’re not sure you have one, then you do.”

In the months after Allen’s initial stroke diagnosis, he saw three neurosurgeons. The last one advised Allen to quit playing football.

Allen told MMQB he has struggled to pick up and grip handheld objects — doctors believe this will subside — and will be on blood-thinning medication for the rest of his life.

Allen said he hopes others will learn from his experience.

“Guys talk about it all the time: ‘I’m all right; I just got my bell rung,’ ” he said. “I’ve had maybe 10 times in my career when for a second I felt woozy after a hit. And what I’ve learned from this is that it’s not something to be overlooked. If it feels like something’s wrong, something’s wrong.”

Allen suffered the concussion and stroke in Week 15 against Buffalo, after running into Bills center Eric Wood several yards downfield.

“It was strange because it was so routine,” Allen said. “We hit, I got off the block, no big deal. I felt something flash — like they say when you get your bell rung. I didn’t lose consciousness. I walked back to the huddle and finished the drive.”

Later in the game, Allen began having double vision on the sideline. He had a headache after the game and again when he woke up the next day. The Jaguars ordered an MRI and Allen later was told he had suffered a stroke.

Notes

• Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said it is time for people to “focus on reality” concerning Native American matters instead of criticizing the team’s nickname.

“We understand the issues out there, and we’re not an issue,” Snyder said. “The real issues are real-life issues, real-life needs and I think it’s time that people focus on reality.”

Challenged by those who consider the name “Redskins” offensive, Snyder and his staff recently traveled to Native American reservations and last month established a foundation to assist American Indian tribes. Snyder has insisted he will not change the team’s’ name, calling it a “badge of honor.”

• Safety Will Hill of the New York Giants is facing a possible third suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, a source said on condition of anonymity.

Hill, 24, could face a suspension of six games to a year.

• Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone said he had a cancerous mole removed and added it will not have any effect on him doing his job.

• A playoff game will be on cable for the first time this season. ESPN will show a wild-card game, the first postseason game in the league’s modern era not to be shown nationally on a broadcast channel.



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