(CBS) It’s jarring and eye-opening: A new study shows 99 percent of deceased NFL players tested positive for the degenerative brain disease known as CTE.
That includes four former Chicago Bears players.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker spoke to one widow about her husband’s nightmare after the game.
Linebacker Larry Morris was a prominent member of the 1963 Bears’ championship team.
His brain was one of the 110 brains out of the 111 former NFL players that were found to have CTE, a brain disease caused by repeated head trauma.
“I guess we never thought about how vulnerable he was to all that hitting and tackling,” Morris’s widow, Kay, says.
Morris played 12 years in the NFL, seven with the Bears.
“I remember a bad episode right after the 1963 football season, where he had dizziness and weakness,” Kay says. “We went to the doctor, and they said maybe it was an inner-ear infection.”
Morris retired in 1967. He was only in his mid-40s when his wife said the mild-mannered man she’d married became short-tempered, irritable and suffered severe memory loss.
“We would be in the car going to church where we went every Sunday, and he would forget which way to go,” she says.
At one time, Morris ran a successful real estate company, but his widow says, “He made so many foolish decisions and unwise decisions that we lost everything.”
The couple had four children and 12 grandchildren. Even though Morris lived until he was 79, his widow says his last 20 years, he was mentally absent.
“He could not work, and he could not carry on a conversation,” she says.
The NFL issued a statement about the report, saying the league will continue to work with a wide range of experts to improve the health of current and former NFL athletes.
Kay would like to see the NFL change the rules of the game to reduce head trauma