Former Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis says the prospect of living with CTE symptoms is something that worries him.
But Davis, speaking Friday on the eve of his Hall of Fame induction in Canton, Ohio, said he has hope for the future of football because of the "great lengths" the game has gone to change.
"I can't lie, we're all scared," Davis said, according to The Denver Post. "We're concerned because we don't know what the future holds. When I'm at home and I do something, if I forget something I have to stop to think, 'Is this because I'm getting older or I'm just not using my brain, or is this an effect of playing football?' I don't know that."
Davis is among five modern-era players who will be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.
"Yeah, I'm scared, so I try to stay as active as possible, keep my mind as sharp as possible," Davis said, according to The Post. "But I also know the game has gone through great lengths to change, from Pop Warner to college."
A study published last month revealed that 110 of 111 brains examined from the bodies of deceased NFL players were found to have CTE, a degenerative disease associated with head trauma. Wider research on 91 other former football players found evidence of the brain disease in nearly all of them, from college and even high school athletes.
"People ask me the question, 'Would you let your kids play?' Yeah, I would," Davis said. "Now, 10 years ago I may have said something different. But now, the way they're teaching kids to tackle, the fact that they identify concussions a lot faster, they sit you out a couple plays, you're not going to practice as long. All that stuff is helping the game of football. But yes, I'm concerned."
Davis cited an example from the Broncos' first Super Bowl win in January 1998 that weighs on his mind, according to the Denver newspaper. Davis, the MVP of that game, said he played through it with a migraine, rushing for 157 yards.
At one point in the game, he couldn't see after coming off the field, he told The Post. After he told then-coach Mike Shanahan, Davis was put back in to serve as a decoy, he said.
"I think about that moment a lot because if they had the rules in place then, I don't go back into that game," Davis said. "And that changes a lot."