Saturday, May 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Family says Gifford had CTE

Frank Gifford, the Hall of Fame NFL player turned broadcaster, was suffering from "the debilitating effects of head trauma" from playing football when he died last summer at 84, his family said in a statement Wednesday.

Gifford, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection who took part in five NFL championship games with the Giants in the 1950s and '60s, played offense and defense, and missed 18 months of his career after absorbing one of the most storied hits in the history of the NFL. In a 1960 game against Philadelphia, he was knocked out cold by Chuck Bednarik. At the time, it was said Gifford had suffered what was called "a deep brain concussion."

Gifford is now one of the highest-profile former players to have suffered from the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive brain deterioration caused by big hits and a number of smaller, repetitive ones.

The announcement came through NBC News, for which Gifford's widow, Kathie Lee, works. CTE presently can be detected only by studying brain tissue after death. The family didn't say who performed the diagnosis or the severity of the disease, so it's difficult to determine what effect the finding will have on the emerging study of the disease.

Doctors at Boston University created a four-stage scale to delineate how advanced the disease was at the time of a patient's death. Unlike former players such as Junior Seau, who died before he was 50 and was later found to have CTE, Gifford was 84 and some of his symptoms might overlap with those found commonly in people his age.

"While Frank passed away from natural causes this past August at the age of 84, our suspicions that he was suffering from the debilitating effects of head trauma were confirmed when a team of pathologists recently diagnosed his condition as that of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)," the family statement said.

The family would not be eligible for any award from the lawsuit settlement between the NFL and the retired players who accused the league of hiding from them the dangers of repeated head hits. Only players who were found to have CTE and who died before the settlement was approved in late April may receive up to $4 million.

RAMS WR SHOT: Suspended Rams receiver Stedman Bailey was shot and critically wounded as he and four others were sitting in a car outside a home in the Miami area, police said. Bailey had surgery for undisclosed injuries; police said he was in critical but stable condition. Police said they were looking for suspects.

MANZIEL UPDATE: Johnny Manziel's benching might not mean his days with the Browns are dwindling. "I certainly hope not," coach Mike Pettine said in explaining his decision to demote Manziel because of the QB's off-field behavior. Pettine was angry after a video emerged of Manziel partying last week in Texas.

LYNCH HAS SURGERY: Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch had surgery to repair an injury related to a sports hernia and will miss at least three weeks.

LONDON CALLING, TWICE? The Redskins could become the first team to play two games in London in one season. The Redskins face the Bengals on Oct. 30 at Wembley Stadium, the NFL announced. Washington also could wind up facing the Rams a week earlier at Twicken­ham Stadium, depending on the Redskins' finish in the NFC East this season.

BRONCOS SIGN PONDER: With Peyton Manning out until at least mid December, Denver bolstered its depth by signing former FSU quarterback Christian Ponder.

RAMS: QB Case Keenum returned to practice on a limited basis after missing a workout due to a concussion.

Comments
The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Stanley Cup final begins Monday in the unlikeliest of places: a city new to major pro sports and suddenly the center of the hockey world, Las Vegas, whose Golden Knights could become the first first-year expansion team to win a championship.And t...
Published: 05/25/18
Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Published: 05/25/18
Bucs’ Gerald McCoy welcomes Vita Vea to his rookie school

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy welcomes Vita Vea to his rookie school

TAMPA — Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has always been generous with his time, staying after practice to work with younger players. That should be a real added benefit for first-round pick Vita Vea.RELATED: More Bucs coverage"That's my M.O.'' Mc...
Published: 05/25/18
The Bucs’ Mike Evans is among the NFL’s best receivers, except when it came to this

The Bucs’ Mike Evans is among the NFL’s best receivers, except when it came to this

TAMPA — Only three players in NFL history have posted 1,000-yard receiving seasons in each of his first four years seasons: Randy Moss, A.J. Green and the Bucs' Mike Evans.RELATED: More Bucs coverageBut by Evans' standards, 2017 was "proba...
Published: 05/25/18
Why interceptions are up at One Buc Place

Why interceptions are up at One Buc Place

TAMPA — If the first few days of OTAs are any indication, the Bucs secondary could be much improved.Completions may be down, interceptions should be up.RELATED: More Bucs coverage"A lot of interceptions,'' coach Dirk Koetter said Thursday' afte...
Published: 05/25/18
Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

TAMPA — This much is clear: The National Football League is focused on getting rid of kneeling players.That was the league's announcement Wednesday in requiring players to stand during the national anthem before games or possibly have their tea...
Published: 05/24/18
Bucs sign defensive tackle Vita Vea, cornerback Carlton Davis to four-year deals

Bucs sign defensive tackle Vita Vea, cornerback Carlton Davis to four-year deals

Two high draft picks that could earn starting jobs signed four year contracts with the Bucs Thursday.The team signed Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea, the team's first-round pick.Terms of the deal were not released, but Vea  is expected to r...
Published: 05/24/18
Bucs union rep Ali Marpet questions legality of the NFL’s new anthem policy

Bucs union rep Ali Marpet questions legality of the NFL’s new anthem policy

Bucs offensive lineman Ali Marpet questioned the legality of the NFL's new  policy that requires players to stand for the national anthem if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if t...
Published: 05/24/18
Licht promotes three in Bucs’ scouting department

Licht promotes three in Bucs’ scouting department

The dust has settled from another NFL draft, and Bucs general manager Jason Licht has made three promotions in his scouting department as a new year of player evaluation begins.Byron Kiefer, entering his 14th season with the Bucs and fourth as a nati...
Published: 05/24/18
NFL’s new anthem policy requires players to stand on sideline or remain in locker room

NFL’s new anthem policy requires players to stand on sideline or remain in locker room

ATLANTA — The NFL and the owners of its 32 teams enacted a new national anthem policy Wednesday designed, they said, to compel players to stand if they’re on the sideline for the playing of the anthem prior to a game."Clearly our objective as a leagu...
Published: 05/23/18