Wed, Oct 01, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Romanowski evaluates health after concussion

NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE , DENVER, COLORADO

Former Denver and current Oakland linebacker Bill Romanowski, who had played 243 consecutive games until Sunday, will not play the next few weeks, if ever again.

After suffering his latest concussion during the first quarter of Oakland's loss at Denver last Monday night, Romanowski said he will take a few weeks before re-evaluating the injury that could abruptly end his 16-season NFL career.

Once this concussion has subsided, Romanowski plans to fly to Pittsburgh to meet with a group of doctors specializing in concussions.

Then will Romanowski -- who has played in five Super Bowls for three different teams -- decide whether football still fits him and whether he is fit for football.

"I'm concerned," Romanowski, one of football's most beloved and despised players, said Monday. "I'm definitely concerned.

Asked if he had played his last NFL game, Romanowski said: "I don't want to say that. I just want to get all the information I can and not rush into any decisions right now."

If Romanowski is unable to play again -- and football officials who know Romanowski expect that to be the case -- then his final game was at Invesco Field at Mile High against the Broncos, when he played most of the game in an altered state.

Romanowski, 37, declined to reveal how many concussions he has suffered over his NFL career, other than to say, "there's been a lot."

Most have been, in Romanowski's words, "back-brain concussions -- where I get nausea, dizziness, headaches, irritable."

The first this season occurred during Oakland's opening game at Tennessee. The latest occurred in Denver, Colorado.

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