Sportress of Blogitude

Fred Taylor clarifies Twitter rant over injuries from NFL career


Former NFL running back Fred Taylor took to Twitter earlier this week to unleash a vitriolic screed over discovering troubling details concerning his health after undergoing a full orthopedic exam.

In the series of blistering tweets Wednesday, Taylor appeared to question the health care he received during his lengthy NFL career, even seemingly calling into question whether NFL doctors hid his injuries from him.

That doesn’t appear to be the case, or at least that’s how Taylor now is characterizing his Twitter rant. Taylor, who played 13 NFL seasons, mostly with the Jacksonville Jaguars, said some of his social media remarks were misunderstood in a telephone interview with ESPN.

“This is more of an attempt to see things be avoided,” Taylor said. “Guys before me improved the game. Guys before me improved the healthcare. The league is great. They have a lot of benefits for us, a lot of resources. I salute them for what they’ve done, but at the same time there’s other things that could be done.

“I’m not saying league screwed me and did this. I never said that and I’m not looking for money. I’m not looking for a fight. How can we make this better?”

Taylor said the results of the exam, which included 11 MRIs and 12 X-rays, revealed partially torn labrums in each shoulder. Test results also pointed to him having suffered a fractured clavicle at some point.

The reason for the full orthopedic exam was due in part to how Taylor’s league-provided insurance was set to expire. NFL policy provides former players with health insurance for five years following retirement.

Taylor insists he wasn’t trying to be overly critical of the doctors who provided him care or the NFL, even though he maintains that he never was informed of the injuries during his career that were discovered in the recent exam.

Taylor said he won’t have to apply for COBRA coverage through the NFL, as his wife has good insurance. And he did confirm that he did receive “line of duty benefits,” but only after a third request. He worries, though, about players who don’t have that option available.

“Basically, this isn’t about me,” Taylor said. “There are guys out there that are going to be way worse off than me.”

A Jaguars spokesperson declined comment when asked about Taylor’s recent claims.