24 Oct 1999: Leroy Hoard #44 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on the field during a game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the 49ers 40-16. - Tom Pidgeon /Allsport
In his ten year National Football League career, running back Leroy Hoard was what we'd probably refer to as a "power" running back. When he was a member of the Minnesota Vikings, he famously said "If you need one yard, I'll get you three. If you need five yards, I'll get you three." He was the sort of back that would much rather run through you than try to get around you.
But all of the contact and the bruising running style took it's toll on Hoard, even 13 years after playing his last NFL game in 1999. ESPN took some time to talk to Hoard and take a look at some of the problems he's experiencing. Hoard knows what's happening to him, and knows that there's three names that he has to always remember.
Those names are Andre Waters, Dave Duerson, and Junior Seau. Those three men experienced the same things that Hoard is going through, and each of them eventually turned a gun on themselves, taking their own lives. Hoard doesn't want to end up like that, and is doing everything he can to prevent that from happening.
Hoard also talks about how keeping in contact with former Vikings' teammate Robert Smith has helped him to cope with his medical issues.
Quite an interesting look at the current debate about head injuries in football from a man that used to wear the purple and gold. Take a few minutes and watch it if you can.