Tennessee Titans defensive end Dave Ball said Friday that he briefly contemplated retirement after suffering his third concussion in two years two weeks ago against Cincinnati.
Ball, who has been ruled out for Sunday's game in Atlanta, said a consultation with Dr. Gary Solomon at Vanderbilt, however alleviated his fears, and he returned to the practice field for the Titans on Friday.
“I thought of that, but I'm not at that point yet. It would take a couple of more hard knocks before they can knock D. Ball out of there, right?” said the defensive end who has his own quirky sense of humor even in serious matters. He actually joked that he had "a baker's dozen" concussions last year, but only reported two of them.
Ball said he has consulted with doctors regarding his condition and is giving his brain in Solomon's words time to “reboot.”
“I talked to Dr. Gary Solomon at Vanderbilt, and his thoughts were that once your brain has time to reboot after a concussion with no symptoms, and you can run around and there's no symptoms and you can take the impact concussion test on the computer and you're basically at your baseline, he said your brain has rebooted, and you're cool to go out there again,” Ball said.
Ball is on track to return to action next week against Tampa Bay. He responded well to conditioning on Thursday and worked on Friday for the first time in team drills.
His season ended last year five games early because of a concussion and admits he is concerned about long-term ramifications.
“Of course (I'm concerned), I do with all the reports about suicide and depression. There's still a lot in brain science that the doctors don't know. But it worries me,” Ball said.
As for other Titans injuries, linebacker Colin McCarthy missed practice for a second straight day with a knee problem and will be evaluated Saturday to see can go Sunday. He is listed as questionable.
Linebackers Gerald McRath (hamstring) and Barrett Ruud (groin) both practiced Friday and are questionable, while receiver Nate Washington was added to the injury report with an illness. He is listed as probable.