NEW YORK—As concerns about the health risks involved for youth players continue to rise, a new poll revealed Thursday that a growing majority of NFL players would not allow their sons to play preseason football. “Now that we know how dangerous it really is, how could I in good conscience let my 7-year-old son go out there and play in a preseason football game?” said Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons, echoing the sentiments of many NFL players who told reporters that the potentially devastating health costs associated with participating in a full four-game preseason outweigh any reward, especially at the professional level. “The fact of the matter is that we just didn’t understand the full risks of preseason football back when I first started playing. I love this sport, but I’m not going to let my child put his long-term health on the line just to play football every week in August.” Timmons added that he was already encouraging his son to focus on basketball or soccer until regular-season football gets underway.
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