Lions’ Cleary pledges to donate brain for CTE research

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Detroit Lions offensive tackle Emmett Cleary has pledged to donate his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, furthering research Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, otherwise known as CTE.

Cleary becomes the second active player, along with Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Eric Winston, to pledge his brain to the program. Additionally, more than 30 former players have made similar commitments.

“Everyone in football should be supportive of this research,” Cleary said in a statement. “I feel like you have a responsibility to your teammates, other players in the league, and the next generation of football players to support the research. I would encourage anyone who loves the game to get involved with brain research.”

Cleary, who went undrafted out of Boston College in 2013, earned a degree in biology from the school. He’s in his first season with the Lions, having signed with the team in September.

Concussions have been an issue for the Lions’ offensive line this year. Three of the team’s linemen have spent time in protocol this season, all reporting their injuries after the completion of a game.

Guard T.J. Lang missed one week, Travis Swanson has missed the past two, and, most recently, Don Barclay was placed on injured reserve after Sunday’s loss in Cincinnati.