Former NFL offensive lineman Keith Sims told Newsmax TV
on Friday that he's not chasing "a big pot of money" by joining a prescription drug-abuse lawsuit against the league, but trying to ensure that his medical bills will be paid if his health "goes downhill."
Sims, 47, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that he had 13 surgeries in 11 seasons "all because of football," and that painkillers he used while playing might have masked long-term physical injuries or put him at risk of future illnesses.
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A three-time Pro Bowl selection who played for the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins, Sims is among about 1,300 retired players jointly suing the National Football League. The lawsuit
claims teams systematically fed athletes powerful pharmaceuticals to keep them playing through pain, but did not inform them of possible side effects.
Sims conceded that he — like most players in dread of being benched or replaced — didn't object or ask questions when team doctors and trainers administered the drugs.
"And part of that responsibility, I have to personally take on," he said, "because the first time I did it, I was in the middle of starting 88 straight games, and I didn't want my streak to end. That was a point of pride — that I was there for my teammates, come hell or high water, and I was going to do whatever it took to get to that point to be out there."
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