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.
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“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.
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