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Former Maryland, Titans tight end Frank Wycheck believes he has CTE

Former Maryland, Titans tight end Frank Wycheck believes he has CTE
Tight end Frank Wycheck tries to evade Ravens safety Kim Herring. Wycheck was selected by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round of the 1993 draft. Wycheck also played for the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans, retiring in 2003. Wycheck is one of only five tight ends to have amassed 500 career receptions in the NFL. He led Maryland with 58 catches in 1990. (Sun photo by Doug Kapustin)

Former Maryland and NFL tight end Frank Wycheck said in a television interview Monday that he believes he has chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease believed to cause debilitating memory and mood problems.

Wycheck, 45, told Nashville's Fox-WZTV that he suffers from migraine headaches and depression, is sensitive to light and is disinclined to socialize.

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"I'm sure [I have CTE]," he said. "I'm sure the punishment I took and the concussions, the dings, for sure. You can't test for CTE unless you're dead."

Wycheck, who played football from age 5 until retiring at 33, estimated that he had been involved in 297,000 collisions in his career, 25 of which resulted in concussions. He was among the former NFL players who sued the NFL over complaints that it hid the risks of repeated concussions.

"Everyone thought we were crying about our injuries, woe is me," Wycheck said. "Why did we even play? But the NFL knew. The main NFL doctor came out and said that there isn't any long-term brain damage when you play football, so he basically lied and hid a lot of that information. That's the price you pay, and to be honest with you, I wouldn't change a thing."

Wycheck played 11 seasons in the NFL, starting with the Washington Redskins before finishing his career with the Houston Oilers (and later the Tennessee Titans). He had 505 catches for 5,126 yards and 28 touchdowns, and famously threw the lateral across the field in the "Music City Miracle" that won the Titans' 2000 wild-card-round playoff matchup against the Buffalo Bills.

A Philadelphia native, Wycheck finished with 1,183 receiving yards and 1,574 rushing yards in three seasons Maryland. He left College Park a year early, before first-year coach Mark Duffner arrived and installed his run-and-shoot offense, and was taken in the sixth round of the 1993 draft.

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