Packers Legend Brett Favre 'Absolutely' Wonders If He Played in the NFL Too Long

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIOctober 7, 2019

Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre escorts Sherry Starr out of the tunnel before an NFL football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

Brett Favre will turn 50 years old on Thursday, and the NFL Hall of Famer took stock on all he has done when NBC Sports' Peter King visited him in August at his Mississippi home to record a 47-minute podcast. 

The conversation spanned several topics, including lighthearted stories, but the pair discussed the subject of concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) as well. When asked if he wondered whether he stayed in football for too long, having played in the NFL from 1991 to 2010, Favre responded, "Absolutely." 

"I wonder every day what tomorrow will bring just from [how] I did play," he said.

Favre added: 

"For me, what I have fear of more than anything that 20 years ago was not even a thought is the mental side of it. You and I were talking before we started the podcast—some of the stories you brought up, I don't remember. There was a point in my life where I remembered everything.. A story I should know, whether it's one from you or someone else, I have no recollection of it. It bugs me. It makes me wonder."

The Super Bowl XXXI champion clarified that he was glad he played football and said he "wouldn't trade any of it." 

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Favre announced his retirement in March 2008 after 16 seasons with the Green Bay Packers. But he decided to return to football, and Green Bay traded him to the New York Jets, with whom he spent the 2008 campaign. He retired yet again after one season in New York, and the Jets released him in April 2009. He came out of retirement one more time, signing with the Vikings and playing in Minnesota for two seasons.

He sat out the Vikings' final game of the 2010 campaign with a concussion and announced his final retirement in January 2011. 

In April 2018, Favre told Megyn Kelly on Today that he had suffered three or four known concussions over 302 regular-season NFL games. 

"But as we're learning about concussions," he continued, "there's a term that is often used in football, and maybe in other sports, that I got 'dinged.' ... When you have ringing of the ears, seeing stars, that's a concussion. And if that is a concussion, then I've had hundreds, probably thousands, throughout my career, which is frightening."

Favre revealed to King that former Pittsburgh Steelers doctor Julian Bales contacted him post-retirement to see if he was interested in being tested for raised levels of Tao protein, which indicates that a person could have CTE. He said he told Bales he'd "rather not know."  

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