Former 49ers Linebacker Claims He’s Suffered 2,500 Concussions During His 12-Year Career

George Rose/Getty Images

Gary Plummer had an effective 12-season career in the NFL, retiring in 1998 with 1,029 tackles, 4.5 sacks, six interceptions, and a Super Bowl XXIX ring with the San Francisco 49ers.

Following retirement, the now 58-year-old briefly held a color analyst gig for 49ers game broadcasts but was fired after relentlessly criticizing the team and openly talking about controversial subjects. The straw that broke the camels back was when he appeared on a podcast and talked about his own open marriage, how best to give oral sex, and how the 49ers’ staff used to line up women for the players. He also told a story about a player engaging in sex acts with a fan near a team bus while family members were on board.

If something’s on Plummer’s mind, it’s safe to say that we’re going to hear about it.

Most recently, during an appearance on The 49ers Insiders Podcast, the former linebacker claimed that if he included Grade 1 concussions, he’s suffered 2,500 concussions in his career.

“If you’re not getting at least 10 of those a game, as a middle linebacker in the NFL, that means you didn’t play that day,” Plummer said. “I played 250 games. So (with) at least 10 a game, that’s 2,500 concussions.”

“After Junior, my wife said, ‘Dude, you got to do something; I don’t want you to be the next Junior Seau.’…

“It was not overnight, by any stretch of the imagination,” Plummer said. “It was a long, slow process. But it wasn’t a long, slow, arduous process. It’s not like it was difficult to go to yoga. It’s not like it was difficult to go outside and listen to classical music while gardening.

“But I felt myself not only getting better at the time I was doing those things, but it then became the cumulative effect of, ‘Hey, there’ve been a few days where I didn’t have a headache.’ Or, ‘There’ve been a few days where I’ve been able to sleep through the night.’ And those were momentous occasions for me. It’s been amazing that I literally feel like a new man.”

Plummer’s comments come just a day after Brett Favre said he’s “very fearful of what the future will bring” in light of the daunting revelations made about the long-term damage concussions have a person. The Packer great added: “Tomorrow I may not remember who I am, I may not know where I live, and that’s the frightening thing for us football players.”

[h/t For the Win]

Matt Keohan Avatar
Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.