Report: John Carlson will not retire despite concussion history
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Minnesota Vikings tight end John Carlson's injury history, specifically his five reported concussions, will not deter the Litchfield, Minn. native from returning to football next season, per a Star Tribune report.
Carlson, who turns 30 in May, suffered his third concussion in six NFL seasons on the snowy turf in a Dec. 8 loss at Baltimore. The Notre Dame product also reportedly suffered two concussions in his college career.
Carlson told the Star Tribune's Chip Scoggins in December that he may contemplate retirement this offseason, considering all stresses that NFL players go through, including his own brain injury history.
"That's something that my wife and I will consider," Carlson told Scoggins. "After every season it's an evaluation period because of the nature of our business. Players move around, players get cut, coaches get fired, things happen. So in that sense, every year is an evaluation period and this year will be no different. And the concussion part of it will be in that conversation."
The Vikings ponied up to Carlson to the tune of a five-year, $25 million deal that included $7.9 million in guaranteed money in his first year in 2012 even after Carlson suffered his third documented concussion in January 2011 and missed the following season on injured reserve for the Seattle Seahawks.
He sprained his knee in the first week of the 2012 training camp, missed the entire preseason and finished with career lows in catches (8), yards (43) and touchdowns (0) in his first season in Minnesota.
The Vikings restructured Carlson last offseason, cutting his base salary for 2013 from $2.9 million to $1.5 million. He's under contract through 2016, but general manager Rick Spielman said Friday that the team will look "at moving on from some players...that may currently be under contract."
In 2013, Carlson put up his best numbers since 2009 as he filled in for the injured Kyle Rudolph for about a month and tallied 32 catches, 344 yards and one touchdown in 13 games.