Brett Favre once played in 297 straight games during his career, and although that helped him set an NFL record that still stands to this day, the ironman streak definitely took a toll on the quarterback’s health.
During a recent interview with Bubba the Love Sponge, the Hall of Famer was asked how many concussions he suffered during his career. Favre gave a startling answer.
“The thing about concussions is we still don’t know a lot about them,” Favre said. “If you had asked me this 10 years ago, how many concussions I had, I would’ve said three. The reason I would have said three, I thought concussions were where you get knocked out, where you black out for a period of time you don’t know where you are, memory loss, dizzy. A boxer gets knocked and tries to get up, his legs are rubber, that’s a concussion.”
Although Favre once believed he only suffered three concussions in his career, he has now upped that estimate to more than 1,000.
“What we now know is concussions happen all the time,” Favre said. “You get tackled and your head hits the turf, you see the flashes of light or ringing in your ears, but you’re able to play. Based on that, thousands, had to be, because every time my head hit the turf, there was ringing or stars going, flash bulbs, but I was still able to play.”
Favre’s Hall of Fame career started with the Falcons in 1991 and lasted for 20 years before he retired following the 2010 season. The gunslinger spent most of his career with the Packers, where he won three MVPs and a Super Bowl.
If Favre’s estimate is correct, that means he was averaging a shocking 50 concussions per year over his 20 seasons in the NFL.
“That’s what’s kind of frightening about the concussion thing,” Favre said. “It’s the ones that seem minor that do the damage, because you’re able to play and keep going, and still today, there’s probably guys that have them, and they’re like ‘I’m not going out.'”
There weren’t really concussion protocols in place during Favre’s career, which means it was pretty easy for a player to stay in a game even if he had just suffered a concussion. Favre’s final season came in 2010, six years before the league finally implemented a concussion protocol to keep players with head injuries from returning to a game.
Due to his experience with concussions, the quarterback has been pushing to keep kids away from tackle football until they turn 14. If kids want to play football before that age, Favre would like to see them playing flag football.