Bubba Smith: “Former NFL player” had brain disease CTE

Bubba Smith: Former NFL player had brain disease CTE

Bubba Smith is the latest former NFL player to be diagnosed with CTE after his death, the Concussion Legacy Foundation web site reported Tuesday.

The research comes from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Boston University and the Concussion Legacy Foundation, which together run the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank. Smith’s is the latest in a line of CTE cases among former NFL players.

Out of 94 former NFL players’ brains the bank has studied since 2008, 90 have shown CTE, according to a news release.

“Prior to his death, Smith was reported to have developed significant cognitive decline, including memory impairment and poor judgment,” the release said. “He was also unable to complete many tasks of daily living on his own, such as paying bills, shopping, or traveling.”

The research found stage 3 CTE (the disease has stages 1-4, with 4 being most severe) in Smith’s brain.

Smith was the Colts’ No. 1 overall pick in the 1967 NFL Draft and played the first five of his nine NFL seasons in Baltimore. He lost Super Bowl III with the Colts to the New York Jets in 1969 but won a ring two years later against the Dallas Cowboys. He was a two-time Pro Bowler in Baltimore.

Smith became more famous in his post-playing career, when he acted in several movies and TV shows. His biggest role was as Capt. Moses Hightower in the Police Academy series.