49ers linebacker Chris Borland retires due to concerns about head injuries

San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Chris Borland is retiring due to worries about the long-term effects of head injuries. Borland said he made the decision after researching the decision on the connection between the game and neurodegenerative disease. Borland is 24 years old. "I just honestly want to do what's best for my health," Borland told ESPN.  "From what I've researched and what I've experienced, I don't think it's worth the risk." I feel largely the same, as sharp as I've ever been. For me, it's wanting to be proactive. 'm concerned that if you wait 'til you have symptoms, it's too late. There are a lot of unknowns. I can't claim that X will happen. I just want to live a long, healthy life, and I don't want to have any neurological diseases or die younger than I would otherwise." The 49ers issued a statement. "While unexpected, we certainly respect Chris' decision," team general manager Trent Baalke said. "From speaking with Chris, it was evident that he had put a great deal of thought into this decision. He was a consummate professional from day one and a very well-respected member of our team and community. Chris is a determined young man that overcame long odds in his journey to the NFL, and we are confident he will use the same approach to become very successful in his future endeavors. We will always consider him a 49er and wish him all the best." Broaland had 107 tackles and a sack last season and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Week once. A third-round pick from Wiscosnsin who said he had two concussions in his career, Borland said he won't change his mind. "I've thought about what I could accomplish in football, but for me, personally, when you read about Mike Webster and Dave Duerson and Ray Easterling, you read all these stories, and to be the type of player I want to be in football, I think I'd have to take on some risks that, as a person, I don't want to take on," Borland said. "I just thought to myself, 'What am I doing? Is this how I'm going to live my adult life, banging my head, especially with what I've learned and know about the dangers?'" Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun  
Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

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