Kris Dielman of the San Diego Chargers Should Retire: Fan Perspective

As a San Diego Chargers fan, I would love to see Kris Dielman return to the field. However, after the concussion and seizure that he sustained during the 2011 season, I think it would be in his best interest to retire from football before he receives an injury that he cannot come back from.

Dielman suffered a concussion during the October 23rd game against the New York Jets. The concussion occurred during the final quarter and Dielman continued to play the rest of the game. On the plane ride home, Dielman suffered a grand mal seizure. He continued to suffer with concussion symptoms and was placed on injured reserve on November 16th.

Despite this, Dielman stated at the beginning of January that he still wanted to play and was willing to risk his health in order to continue to try for that Super Bowl ring.

As much as I would love to see him play, I also know he is the father of two small boys and he needs to be around for them. While I can understand the desire to win that ring, it is not worth losing his life for.

Now, the NFL is already dealing with lawsuits from former players due to concussions and the long-term effects they have caused. The effects include things like memory issues, balance problems and headaches.

With Dielman's concussion and seizure, the NFL cracked down on players playing with a concussion. It prompted concussion training for officials. The league has cracked down on helmet-to-helmet hits to reduce the risks of concussions. But, in this case none of that is going to be enough.

While I know Dielman will try to play, I believe that if the NFL is serious about protecting its players and reducing the risk of life-long complications from these injuries, they are going to have to insist that Dielman retire.

He has had a nine year career and is a former Pro Bowler. He has had an amazing time in the NFL but it is time to move on and enjoy his family. It is time to watch his kids grow up. He has already said he won't pull himself out when he is injured. I would rather see him retire on his own terms than be retired in a way he can't enjoy.

Deborah Braconnier is a former athlete and 20 year medical professional. Born in San Diego, she has grown up watching the San Diego Chargers. Working now as a freelance writer and Featured Contributor for the NFL and the Olympics, she brings her love for both sports and the medical field together in her writing. Follow her on Twitter @fwcdeborah.

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Updated Sunday, Jan 29, 2012