WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 500 retired NFL players have signed on to a lawsuit that charges their teams supplied them with illegal and risky narcotics and other painkillers to mask injuries.
They say the drugs numbed injuries to get them back on the field but also led to medical complications down the road.
The complaint names eight players, including three members of the Super Bowl champion 1985 Chicago Bears: Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent, offensive lineman Keith Van Horne, and quarterback Jim McMahon.
Here is a look at some of the allegations:
JIM MCMAHON: He says he discovered in 2011 or 2012 that he had suffered a broken neck. He believes it happened in 1993 when his legs went numb after a hit. But the lawsuit says team doctors and trainers never told him about it.
RICHARD DENT: He describes a daily ritual of a team breakfast, followed by the medications needed to get him on the field for practice. Then, according to the lawsuit, he’d take “downers” to sleep.
JEREMY NEWBERRY: The lawsuit says he was one of as many as 15 San Francisco 49ers routinely lining up, pants down, for anti-inflammatory shot before games. During games, he would simply ask trainers for medications, with no records being kept, according to the lawsuit.
ROY GREEN: He developed calcium buildups on his Achilles tendons, but doctors and trainers gave him anti-inflammatories rather than surgery, according to the lawsuit. He ultimately demanded surgery, though the lawsuit alleges that the Arizona Cardinals’ general manager pushed back.
J.D. HILL: He was given “uppers, downers, painkillers, you name it,” he said in a statement. He said he became homeless and addicted. “Never took a drug in my life, and I became a junkie in the NFL.”
KEITH VAN HORNE: The lawsuit says he received injections of numbing agents and pills – and often wasn’t told what they were.
RON STONE: He tore his thumb while playing with the New York Giants. NFL doctors administered painkillers instead of recommending surgery, the lawsuit says.
RON PRITCHARD: He says amphetamines were available in jars in the Houston Oilers’ locker room.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.