According to Nathan Fenno of The Washington Times, Portis, Culpepper and Williams are just three of the 83 players who filed a lawsuit against the National Football League on Tuesday in U.S. District Court.
Portis—the former All-Pro Washington Redskins running back and lead plaintiff—is alleging that he is suffering headaches and other issues stemming from his nine-year career in which he amassed 9,923 yards on 2,230 carries.
He told Mike Freeman—then with CBS Sports—that he likely suffered over 10 concussions during that span.
Fenno added the following:
The 128-page complaint claims the NFL didn’t do enough to protect players from head injuries and concealed their long-term impact from players. The NFL has repeatedly denied those claims in public and in court filings.
Although it wasn’t explicitly stated, it’s likely that the other plaintiffs in the suit are suffering from various neurological symptoms in their post-playing days.
Culpepper—an All-Pro as the Minnesota Vikings quarterback—spent 11 years in the league as a mobile signal-caller who wasn’t afraid to take a hit due to his 6’4”, 260-pound frame.
Williams, 2005’s Rookie of the Year-winning running back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, lasted seven seasons and dealt with numerous injuries in that span before his body betrayed him after the 2011 campaign.
Fenno noted that over 4,500 former players are in the process of suing the league over head injuries, although no major ruling has come down yet.
It will be quite interesting to see how the courts rule in some of these pending cases, as it will set a precedent that could forever change how the NFL operates.