Nine former players volunteer for CTE study in living patients

An Arizona study looking for players to submit to a study that will detect Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy in living patients has found nine, so far. They’re looking for 191 more.

Former Pro Bowl tight end Steve Jordan and eight others provided blood, saliva, and urine samples on Wednesday. They also competed a 140-question form.

Picking the three All-NBA centers is going to be impossible — or the last two, for voters who list Anthony Davis at center instead of forward. Good luck picking two among LaMarcus Aldridge, Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns, Jokic, Rudy Gobert, Al Horford, Andre Drummond, Steven Adams, Kevin Love, DeAndre Jordan and Clint Capela.

There are two distinct tiers there, with the dividing line coming after either Gobert’s name or Horford’s. Jokic is the worst defender among those first four (Aldridge, Towns, Jokic, Embiid), but he might also be the best offensive player. Towns is the most diverse scorer, and they all average more points per game than Jokic. But Jokic creates so many more points for others via assists, and the general gravity of his game. In that sense, he has a bigger role than Towns does playing alongside Jimmy Butler. He is the fulcrum of everything Denver does — and a more adaptable fulcrum than Aldridge, who needs so much run through slow-it-down post-ups.

“A lot of people have the perception that I quit,” Cravens told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I don’t look at it that way. I look at it as I took care of what I needed to do. My health is most important. Once I handled that, then I could come back. I didn’t really have the option to return, even when I did get cleared. I’m just ready to get back out on the field and play.”

As Cravens missed the 2017 season, he says, he was devastated not to be out there.

“Whenever the NFL would come on, it would really make my skin crawl. It would just burn me up on the inside, seeing guys that I competed against, seeing my teammates out there and I couldn’t be out there. It hurt me. It hurt me bad,” he said.

Now Cravens is ready to get back on the field for the first time since 2016.

Those three urine tests, according to the documents, were authorized by Delray Beach physician Michael Ligotti.bills_062