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New suit against NFL raises issue of painkillers

HOWARD FENDRICH AP 12/07/2011 19:38
New suit against NFL raises issue of painkillers - Sports - NFL - USA

A lawsuit filed by 12 former football players against the NFL about its concussion policies says there was widespread pregame use of an anti-inflammatory drug that could put someone with a head injury at increased risk.

Pro Bowl receiver Joe Horn is among the plaintiffs named in the complaint that attorney Christopher Seeger said was filed in federal court in New Jersey on Monday.

It's one of about a half-dozen suits filed against the NFL in recent months by past players who say the league did not do enough to protect them from concussions. As in other complaints against the league, the latest criticizes the NFL's original committee on brain injuries and says the league concealed risks of concussions.

"The difference with this case is what we've learned from our players is that they used to administer a drug called Toradol, which is basically a painkiller ... even when players didn't have symptoms," Seeger said in a telephone interview. "Our experts say that's the worst thing you can do for a brain injury or a concussion."

Seeger said it would be "impossible" to say exactly how much money Horn - who caught more than 600 passes for the Chiefs, Saints and Falcons from 1996-2007 - and the other plaintiffs are seeking.

"We're looking for better medical benefits and compensation," Seeger said.