Rice tore his ACL in October 2013 and was released by Seattle the following February. He then was re-signed by the team in April before abruptly deciding to retire after seven seasons, citing concussion concerns.
"It wasn't so much the symptoms, I felt great after I retired," he told SI Now. "It was just so much of all of the awareness that was coming to concussions and being able to see the long-term effects, the things that could happen down the road. That was the deciding factor in my decision."
Rice explained how he watched a special on ESPN about the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is thought to result from the type of repetitive head injuries common in football. The special also showed former players such as Tony Dorsett and Herschel Walker. Dorsett was diagnosed with CTE in 2013.
"That's something that really touched me, after having so many concussions," said Rice of the ESPN special." I felt like it was the right thing for me to do and it was time for me to hang up the cleats."
Rice and New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford announced earlier in the week that they will donate their brains to science research after they die. Rice estimated that he sustained eight to 10 concussions during his football career, the first of which he believes occurred when he was a child.
- Molly Geary