Junior Seau's ex-wife and four children sued the NFL on Wednesday, alleging the former linebacker's suicide resulted from a brain disease sustained while playing football.
The wrongful death lawsuit, filed in San Diego, blames the NFL for its "acts or omissions" that hid the dangers of repetitive blows to the head. It says Seau developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy from those hits and accuses the NFL of ignoring and concealing evidence of the risks associated with traumatic brain injuries and concussions.
Seau, who shot himself in May, was diagnosed with CTE earlier this month.
About 3,800 former players have sued the NFL over head injuries in about 175 cases. Many have been consolidated before a federal judge in Philadelphia.
"Our attorneys will review it and respond to the claims appropriately through the court," the NFL said in a statement.
Helmet manufacturer Riddell also is a defendant, the Seau family alleging it was "negligent in their design, testing, assembly, manufacture, marketing and engineering of the helmets."
Riddell said it is "confident in the integrity of our products."
Seau, 43, was one of the best linebackers during his 20 seasons in the NFL, retiring in 2009.
"We know this lawsuit will not bring back Junior," the family said in a statement. "But it will send a message that the NFL needs to care for its former players, acknowledge its decades of deception on the issue of head injuries and player safety and make the game safer for future generations."
Russell seeks return
JaMarcus Russell said he hopes to come back to the NFL. The quarterback and top overall pick by the Raiders in 2007 has not taken a snap since 2009 and last had a tryout in 2010. Russell, 27, currently weighs 308 pounds, down from 320 in the fall.
"People would say I didn't love the game, but that (angers) me," he said. "People are always saying that I'm a bust. I want to show them I'm not."
Former Bucs receiver and fellow LSU star Michael Clayton has become Russell's mentor, Yahoo Sports, reported. He also reportedly plans to work with, among others, former Bucs quarterback Jeff Garcia and Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk.
Brady fined: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was fined $10,000 by the league for raising his cleat and kicking Ravens safety Ed Reed in the thigh while sliding during the AFC title game.
Stabbing: James Lewis McCoy of Villa Rica, Ga., was arrested in connection with a man's stabbing outside the Georgia Dome after the NFC title game. The victim remains hospitalized in stable condition. No charges have been filed yet. Police said the stabbing did not result from a dispute between rival fans; instead from a dispute about food at a tailgate. Neither McCoy nor the victim attended the game, police say.
Browns: New coach Rob Chudzinski said it's "premature" to name Brandon Weeden his starting quarterback for next season. Chudzinski said he has been too busy putting together a staff to evaluate Weeden, who just completed his rookie season.
Raiders: Tony Sparano, fired as Jets offensive coordinator, was hired as assistant head coach. He primarily will work with the offensive line.