Concussion sends Bears RB Hoge into retirement

October 18, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

Add Merril Hoge's name to the list of players including Roger Staubach and Al Toon who were forced out of pro football by concussions.

Hoge, a running back who signed with the Chicago Bears as a free agent from the Pittsburgh Steelers this year, suffered a blow to the head Oct. 2 against the Buffalo Bills.

Hoge said when he was hospitalized after the blow, he didn't know his wife, brother or that he had a 14-month-old daughter. Two weeks later, he was still in a fog. He had played in 112 straight games before being hurt.

"It's the end to a career, but not to a life," Hoge, 29, said yesterday as he announced his retirement. "This is not a sad day. It's the start of something new."

After consulting three doctors after his second concussion in six weeks and talking to Toon and Lynn Swann, who also suffered concussions during his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Hoge decided he had no choice.

"To be honest with you, it's not my decision. In order for it to be my decision, I would have had to go against every doctor I had seen," he said. "My whole body is completely numb right now. I don't feel good."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.