Former NFL player tells Senate he fears the future as he contemplates life with brain injuries

The Associated Press

Former professional athlete Ben Utecht, a Super Bowl-winning tight end for the Indianapolis Colts, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 25, 2014, before the Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing regarding concussions the long term effects of brain related sports injuries. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

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By CONNOR RADNOVICH, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former NFL tight end Ben Utecht says he fears where his history of brain injuries will leave him in the future.

In testimony Wednesday during a Senate hearing, Utecht said he started experiencing memory loss at 29, after a football career that left him with five documented concussions and innumerable dings to the head.

Now 32, Utecht says, in his words, "It took losing my mind to care about my mind."

His testimony before the Senate Special Committee on Aging came as brain injuries in sports, particularly contact sports like football, remain a concern for players and families. More evidence suggests a link between head injuries and neurodegenerative diseases.

Utecht was on the Indianapolis Colts' championship team in 2007 and retired with the Cincinnati Bengals after a concussion in 2009.

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