NFL concussion settlement payouts reach $500 million in fraction of projected time

·Yahoo Sports Contributor

Approved NFL concussion settlement claims have reached $500 million in less than two years since the program took effect, almost a full decade ahead of projections, according to the Associated Press.

Settlement program administrators released a report Monday that states that the program has given out $502,465,098 since its inception in January 2017. It was projected to settle only $400 million worth of claims in its first decade. That money has been distributed between 521 claimants, which works out to an average about almost $1 million per person.

The most serious cases have merited as much as $5 million, with the first two cases totaling $9 million combined.

The NFL began accepting claims in March 2017, with an assessment program to determine eligibility that began in June. The organization estimates that up to 30 percent of players could be affected by degenerative brain conditions. Those eligible for a payout included retired players who develop Lou Gehrig’s disease, dementia or other conditions believed to be caused by concussions suffered during their NFL careers.

CTE fears prompting early retirements

Over 20,000 players have registered for possible benefits, according to Monday’s report. It is now projected that the total settlement amount will reach $1.4 billion, almost half a billion more than initially announced.

Overall, 1,942 claims for a variety of conditions have been filed. Only 67 of those have resulted in posthumous payouts for the degenerative brain condition chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which cannot yet be detected in living or former players.

CTE is one of the most prominent issues for current and former NFL players today, with a few recently retiring ahead of schedule due to concerns for their own brain health. Seahawks linebacker Joshua Perry, 24, is the most recent to do so, following his teammate Kam Chancellor’s own retirement statement in June in which he called on fans to “pray for [him]” due to his history of head trauma.

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