The former sixth-round draft pick joined ESPN SportsCenter on Monday to discuss his journey from football player to brain doctor, and his own personal experience with concussions.
Rolle, who begins his neurosurgery residency at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital in June, admits he played through concussions in his career and now very much regrets doing so. With a medical degree under his belt, Rolle explained why its so troubling for players to fight through head injuries.
“I regret it because there is an issue of self reporting (in football),” said Rolle. “There are sub-acute symptoms that go into brain injuries and concussions. You can tell when a player is knocked out on the field – they have a concussion and everyone sees that, but its the times where you walk around and you may be a little bit off baseline, cognitive decline, memory might be out of whack, you might have some balance issues.
“I wish I reported it.”
Rolle hopes his new status as a neurosurgeon with NFL experience will provide him with a stage to influence players not to repeat his mistakes.
“I think now that maybe I have more of a voice on this issue being a neurosurgeon and a resident and having researched and studied about concussions and traumatic brain injury, I would like for players to get over this culture of trying to be macho and fight the team culture of not wanting to report these things because they might feel ‘soft,'” said Rolle. “Talk about it, tell the trainer, tell the team doctor, get off the field, and protect yourself because you have a future.”
Copyright © 2017 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.