Ron Egloff, who played tight end for the Broncos for seven years, said his playing career was "a blast, it was awesome," but he is not taking any chances when it comes to possible aftereffects.
For two days in October, Egloff traveled to Boston University and underwent rigorous testing on his brain function, memory and cognitive skills.
"MRI, PET scans, spinal tap- they go through everything," said Egloff. "It's thorough."
Egloff, 67, is participating in a research study at Boston University's Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center aimed at advancing the ability to diagnose the onset of CTE while victims are still alive. Right now, CTE can only be diagnosed by examining a patient's brain after they have died. CTE is a progressive, degenerative brain disease that can cause depression, impulse control issues and impaired judgment.
"I feel pretty good," said Egloff, "but you never know what's going on on the inside though."
He said he wouldn't trade his NFL career for anything, but now believes he likely suffered a lot of concussions, remembering several hits that caused his eyes to cross.
"I worry about where I am going to be in 10 years. Am I going to be ok? It's something I always think about," said Egloff, during an interview with CBS News Colorado.
Boston University CTE researcher Dr. Michael Alosco said the aim of the three-year study is "developing a tool where we can detect CTE during life... because now we can only find it after someone dies and donates their brain."
He said Egloff is one of approximately 25 former NFL players participating in the study. "This study brings a lot of hope," said Alosco. "If we can diagnose it (CTE) people can take action and we can start treatment."
Previous studies have shown a prevalence of CTE in NFL players. A 2017 study found that out of 111 former NFL players, 110 were found to have had CTE.
'For me, I want to know what's going on with me," said Egloff, who is now a grandfather. He said while his current and future health is a primary motivator, he wants to "help the younger generation. If we can help with this study to prevent it while kids are young, I'm all for it."
Beyond regular trips to Boston for the research study, Egloff has already "signed the papers" to donate his brain for CTE research after he dies. "It was actually an easy decision for me. If they want my brain they can have it. I'm gone," said Egloff, "why not use it for the study?"
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