Borland’s former teammate says he understands retirement decision

Borland’s former teammate says he understands retirement decision
Marcus Trotter

Chris Borland’s former Badgers teammate, who served as his backup inside linebacker for three seasons, said based on the person he knew off the field, he understands Borland’s concussion-based decision to retire from the NFL at age 24.

“I was surprised by it. But looking back I’m not totally surprised, because Chris, even how well he did in college and how great of a year he had in the NF — I mean he would never talk about football unless you were in the meeting room,” former Badgers inside linebacker Marcus Trotter said. “It’s a big deal, and I feel like we don’t know everything about side effects and what it can do to you later in life.”

Trotter, who himself suffered a concussion in high school, said he supports Borland’s decision to retire after just one season.

“I really like it. I respect it. There’s more to life than football,” Trotter said. “But at the end of the day when you take a step back you realize that college football, athletics, whatever it is, it’s just a sport. There’s more things in life, like family and whatever you want to pursue. For me, I think everyone was really shocked, but at the same time I respect it, and I completely see where he’s coming from.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison sports medicine Dr. Greg Landry said the retirement decision can help athletes understand how important it is to be concussion aware.

“Anytime you get hit in the head, or your head moves quickly in space, and you’re impaired, you probably have a concussion,” Landry said. “And need some medical care.”

Trotter, who was just accepted into medical school, said he hopes his concussion does not ever show lingering side effects.

“I think the biggest thing for me when I pass away is I want someone to say, ‘He was a great person, great friend. Great husband.’ Not, ‘he had a great tackle against Nebraska,'” Trotter said.

Trotter said Borland is one of the smartest guys he knows, and feels there is no doubt he will find success wherever life takes him after football.