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Former Professional Football Player Recieves Help from NFL

Posted at 5:23 PM, Dec 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 23:41:19-05

A retired professional football player has won a group lawsuit against the NFL.  John Shinners who lives in Green Bay, along with other former NFL players sued saying their concussions on the field caused dementia and other brain injuries later in life.

Now Shinners is waiting to find out how much money he'll get, while spending his days at an assisted living center, where the NFL pays for his care.

Shinners played 8 years in the NFL in New Orleans, Baltimore and ended his career in Cincinnati.  He says in that time he learned the dangers of not having head protection on the field.

"It took me a long time to see some of the things that were happening to me," said Shinners.
 
Shinners is now almost 70-years-old but in his late fifties he started to forget important things like medications and day to day activities.
 
"Just him not remembering certain things, whether it's where he left something or something I told him about a schedule regarding our son, so those kind of things had me very concerned," said John's wife Angela Shinners.
 
When John's forgetting started to progress is when Angela learned about the NFL's 88 Plan, named after former Baltimore Colts player John Mackey, who's jersey number was 88.
 
The 88 Plan helps former NFL players suffering from Dementia related to years of concussions on the field.
 
"He did remember two specific events where he did feel that it was a significant blow," recalled Angela.
 
After being diagnosed by a neuro-psychologist with Dementia, Shinners was accepted into the 88 Plan, which pays in full for his care at the assisted living facility.  Now Shinners wants other retired NFL players to know there's help out there.
 
"Players should understand what they're going through.  They just shouldn't say well old age is making me forgetful, they should really take time to get analyzed," said Shinners.
 
Shinners says NFL helmets provide much better protection now compared to his playing days in the 1970's.