Larry Johnson Talks Suicidal Thoughts, Violent Past, Possibly Having CTE, More

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2017

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 25:  Running back Larry Johnson #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs watches the scoreboard during the game against the San Diego Chargers on October 25, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Larry Johnson, who made back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2005 and 2006 as a running back with the Kansas City Chiefs, fears he may be living with chronic traumatic encephalopathythe degenerative brain disease that's been posthumously identified in a host of former NFL players.

In a profile published Tuesday by the Washington Post's Kent Babb, Johnson disclosed he has been suffering from anxiety, paranoia and "the occasional self-destructive impulse."

Those feelings, according to Babb, "are consistent with those of past victims" who were diagnosed with CTE in postmortem exams.

Johnson, who turned 38 years old in November, also told Babb he's afraid "he won't remember his own name" by the time he turns 50.

The 2002 Heisman Trophy finalist added he "has considered violence toward others and himself" since stepping away from football after the 2011 season.

"One is telling you to do it; one is telling you don't," Johnson said of the competing urges to kill himself. "One is telling you it'd be fun."

After doctors posthumously discovered CTE in the brain of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in September, Johnson tweeted he was "certain" he had it. He has been arrested six times and allegedly involved in several domestic violence-related incidents.

"My greatest fear is my daughter falling in love with somebody who's me," Johnson told Babb.

A nine-year NFL veteran who spent the bulk of his career with the Chiefs, Johnson set an NFL record with 416 rushing attempts during the 2006 season.

All told, he carried the ball 752 times in the 2005 and 2006 campaigns—55 more times than any other player.

By the time his career came to a close, Johnson had posted 1,427 carries for 6,223 yards and 55 touchdowns.

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