Wednesday's roundup: Former QB Ken Stabler had CTE
Former Raiders QB Ken Stabler, the late NFL MVP and Super Bowl winner who is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, has been diagnosed with the brain disease CTE, Boston University researchers said Wednesday.
Stabler, who died of colon cancer at 69 in July, had Stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Dr. Ann McKee told the Associated Press. McKee said the disease was widespread throughout his brain, with “quite severe” damage to the regions involving learning, memory and regulation of emotion.
“We’ve now found CTE in former NFL players who played every position except kicker,” said McKee, a professor of neurology at Boston University. “While we know on average that certain positions experience more repetitive head impacts and are more likely at greater risk for CTE, no position is immune.”
The diagnosis was first reported by The New York Times.
Broncos send home practice squad safety
Broncos coach Gary Kubiak says he’s disappointed he had to send home one of his practice squad players who was caught up in a prostitution sting a few miles from the team hotel.
The Broncos sent safety Ryan Murphy home after he was questioned by authorities during a sting in San Jose on Tuesday.
Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Sgt. James Jensen said Murphy, 23, was detained and questioned Tuesday and released after investigators determined he was not involved in any criminal activities.
The Broncos sent him back to Denver anyway because they said it would be best for the team to prepare for Super Bowl 50 without him.
“Yeah, there’s disappointment, but it’s been dealt with and we’ve moved on,” Kubiak said.
Murphy is a 6-foot, 214-pound rookie who was a seventh-round pick by Seattle out of Oregon State last spring. Released by the Seahawks at the end of training camp, he joined the Broncos’ practice squad in November.
The Broncos are staying at the Santa Clara Marriott, near Levi’s Stadium, site of Super Bowl 50 and about four miles from the location where Murphy, who is originally from Oakland, was questioned.
Smith to play despite father’s death
Broncos DL Antonio Smith plans to play in the Super Bowl despite learning of his father’s death Wednesday.
Team spokesman Patrick Smyth told the Associated Press there are no plans for Smith to leave the team.
Marty Christopher Williams, 55, who had been incarcerated for more than 20 years, had recently undergone heart surgery, Smith told the newspaper.
Smith, 34, is a 12-year NFL veteran who joined the Broncos this season after his release from the Raiders.
He was a key member of the league’s top defense and posted 21/2 sacks in the regular season and another in the playoffs.
Las Vegas might be blacked out from game
Tens of thousands of Las Vegas football fans are scrambling as a bitter rate dispute between a cable provider and the local CBS affiliate threatens to leave their TVs dark to Sunday’s game
Cox Communications cable customers haven’t been able to watch any CBS programs since Saturday, when KLAS-TV pulled the channel off the Cox lineup after five months of failed contract negotiations.
Cox said it will make “ESPN Deportes” free during the game so that subscribers at least can watch it in Spanish.