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NFL: Jaguars LB Russell Allen Retires Due to Stroke
Photo Credit: Getty Images

NFL: Jaguars LB Russell Allen Retires Due to Stroke

Apr 22 2014, 7:59pm CDT | by

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker confirmed his retirement after suffering a stroke during a game in December.

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker confirmed his retirement after suffering a stroke during a game in December.  MMQB.com's Robert Klemko reports on April 22 that the Jaguars cut Allen last week,...

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14 weeks ago

NFL: Jaguars LB Russell Allen Retires Due to Stroke

Apr 22 2014, 7:59pm CDT | by

NFL: Jaguars LB Russell Allen Retires Due to Stroke Photo Credit: Getty Images

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker confirmed his retirement after suffering a stroke during a game in December.

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker confirmed his retirement after suffering a stroke during a game in December. 

MMQB.com's Robert Klemko reports on April 22 that the Jaguars cut Allen last week, listing the reason as a failed physical: 

"Russell Allen will never play football again. 

"The Jaguars linebacker confronted this reality last Thursday, sitting on the beige sectional in the living room of his home in San Diego's northern suburbs. It was 9 a.m. in California and noon in Jacksvonville, when his agent called with the dreadful news Allen had expected for months: The one-time rookie free agent had been cut after five NFL seasons. 

"The Jaguars announced Allen's release along with three other cuts, listing the official reason as a failed physical. But this was no ordinary roster move. 

"Coach Gus Bradley would tell Allen to tell him how sorry he was -- and that he would always be a Jaguar. General manager David Caldwell also would reach out to express his condolences. As the news sunk in, Allen's wife, Ali, whispered instructions to their two-year-old son.

"Parker did as he was told, running over to his father and telling him he did 'a good job playing football.' Allen, 27, burst into tears. 

"In the back of the brain, the cerebellum tells the body how to walk, run and even crawl. It might also play a role in discerning happiness and fear, but the medical science isn't exactly sure. What doctors are sure of, however, is that Russell has a spot on his cerebellum, no bigger than a dime, that is dead." 

Klemko says the injury stems from a face-to-face collision with Buffalo Bills center Eric wood on Dec. 15, 2013. 

"It went dark on Dec. 15, 2013. Just after halftime in a Week 15 game against the Bills, Allen strafed across the hash marks in pursuit of a ballcarrier before running into center Eric Wood several yards downfield. The two collided face-to-face, dead center from Allen's perspective, and Allen walked away buzzed as he casually shrugged his shoulders." 

Allen told Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union via a phone interview on April 22 that the hit was "nothing out of the ordinary." 

"It was completely routine. Nothing out of the ordinary. 

"I shouldn't have been out there, but I didn't feel impaired. I didn't feel any other hits were making it worse. After the incident, it was more like a regular day. 

"That (double vision) was the real red flag. I needed to remove myself from that situation, but that's something I have to live with."

O'Halloran then says Allen felt a slight headache the morning after the game. After being advised by Jaguars medical personnel to have an MRI, Allen spent three days at a hospital where he was told he suffered a stroke. 

With this,"Allen said he will be on blood thinners for the rest of his life but his only restriction is not lifting heavy objects," per O'Halloran. 

Allen then tells Klemko that athletes should never take moments such as the one he experienced for granted.

"Guys talk about it all the time. 'I'm all right -- I just got my bell rung.' 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. I want someone to know my experience, so they can know when they experience something similar." 

Allen admits to O'Halloran it will be tough not playing the game anymore. 

"It's going to be a tough year for me. Football has been such a huge part of my life. I thought I had several years left. Unfortunately, that's the nature of this business. Every player knows that it can be over in a second, whether they want to acknowledge that or not." 

As far as his post-football career plans are concerned, Allen told The Florida Times-Union he is keen on coaching high school football in the San Diego, Ca. area. 

The 27-year-old Allen finishes his five-year NFL career with 331 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one interception, per ESPN stats.  

 

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Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

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