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NFL notes: Ex-linebacker Ted Johnson speaks out about concussion dangers

Published May 18, 2012 5:59 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Boston •Junior Seau's death got former New England Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson thinking again about his own career in the NFL and his struggles with post-concussion syndrome after he retired in 2005.

"It's corrode or explode," Johnson told a conference on pediatric concussions at Boston Children's Hospital on Friday. "And it all exploded by killing [himself]."

Seau shot himself in the chest on May 2, echoing last year's suicide of former Chicago Bears defensive back Dave Duerson. Duerson left a note asking for his brain to be studied for signs of brain trauma. No link has been established between Seau's death and the pounding he took during his football career, but Johnson was convinced it was a factor.

"You can't tell me the head trauma he had over his career didn't affect him," Johnson said. "That was the tip of the tipping point for me. ... It makes you take inventory on your own mortality. If that can happen to him, I've got to be more diligent in how I live my life. 'Cause it's a road I don't want to go down."

Around the league

Indianapolis • The Colts are making a change at guard.

Indy claimed Zane Taylor, a former University of Utah guard, off waivers from Philadelphia on Friday. The guard is the third former Eagles lineman brought in by general manager Ryan Grigson, who worked in Philadelphia's front office before taking the Colts job in January. At Utah, Taylor started 38 games and was a three-time all-conference selection.

To make room for Taylor, the Colts waived guard Matt Murphy, who joined Indy's practice squad Sept. 28.

Indy also traded for Winston Justice and signed free agent Mike McGlynn, both ex-Eagles.

Taylor is a 6-foot-2, 309-pound guard who was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Jets in 2011. He joined the Buccaneers practice squad in September, before signing with Philadelphia's practice squad in November.

Cincinnati • The Bengals have signed cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick of Alabama, their top pick in the draft. He's expected to compete for a starting job, teaming with Leon Hall at cornerback.

New York • Yeremiah Bell is joining the other side of the Dolphins-Jets rivalry.

A person familiar with the deal said the New York Jets and the veteran safety agreed to terms Friday on a one-year contract worth $1.4 million.

Buffalo • The Bills continue locking up their rookie draft class after signing offensive tackle Cordy Glenn, their second-round pick.