|Photo by Joe Bielawa via Wikimedia|
Carlson has spent the last two seasons of his career in Minnesota. His first three were with the Seattle Seahawks 2008-10. He sat out the 2011 season with a concussion and knee injury then signed with the Vikings as a free agent. The 29-year old suffered three concussions in his last three seasons. He missed the final three games in 2013 due to a concussion he suffered in a Week 14 game against the Baltimore Ravens.
There is talk that Carlson's career in the NFL is over. Considering his history of concussions and the spotlight being on the league in how it has handled players suffering from this devastating injury, it is not unrealistic to assume that some would call for the Vikings' TE to retire.
Carlson told Master Tesfatsion of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that his retiring from professional football was never on his radar. Rather it was largely the public's perception of a player who suffers a concussion equates to being a career killer. He went on to say:
But the way it was kind of taken by other people was, ‘Oh he’s done. He’s got a concussion.’ This is football. Guys get concussions; a lot of guys cover concussions up, and they hide them. I haven’t done that because I don’t want to do that. I value my health, and I also value my career in this opportunity. Once you shut it down, you really can’t go back. The end is the end.Carlson bounced back from his first year slump with the Vikings in 2012 catching only eight passes. Last season he played in 13 games caught 32 balls for 344 yards and a touchdown. The franchise released the TE on Wednesday. He has been cleared to play for 2014. Despite his age and concussion issues Carlson has shown he can still make an impact in the red zone.