Dave Ball would like to play football again.
But he doesn’t know if he will get the opportunity to do so.
Ball spent the entire 2012 season injured reserve after re-signing with the Tennessee Titans on a one-year deal last season. He developed concussion symptoms in camp, and the Titans could not wait on him to recover, ending his year before it began.
Now, he says the Titans aren’t likely to bring him back, and he says that no other team will probably be tempted to take a chance on a 32-year-old defensive end who has had concussion problems the past two or three seasons.
“I think it’s over here. That’s just what I think,” Ball said.
As for shopping himself to other teams come March when free agency opens, Ball doesn’t expect teams to beat a path to his door.
“I’d like to play forever, but that’s not gonna happen. I guess I’ll probably get a new job,” he said.
Ball came to the Titans in 2008 after bouncing from the Chargers to the Jets to the Panthers to out of the league. When he came to the Titans, Ball was a longshot, but made the team and turned in four productive seasons in Tennessee.
When he first arrived, he taped a message in his locker that read “Time is running out” to remind him of how fragile his NFL career was.
And now for Ball, who contemplated retirement after a concussion in 2011 landed him on injure reserve, fears that his time really might be running out.
“I’m not gonna retire, but I think I’ll be forced to retire based on lack of options,” Ball said. “I think teams are gonna be scared to sign me, so that’s what I’ve been preparing for mentally. I’d love to sign with somebody else, but I just know it’s not gonna happen.”