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Frank Wycheck: I’m doing worse than most, and concussion settlement gives me nothing

Frank Wycheck Oilers

23 Nov 1997: Tight end Frank Wycheck #89 of the Tennessee Oilers during the Oilers 31-14 win over the Buffalo Bills at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport

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Frank Wycheck says that concussions stemming from an 11-year NFL career have left him with serious symptoms, and he’ll get nothing from the settlement to the concussion lawsuit.

Wycheck, who played in Washington, Houston and Tennessee from 1993 to 2003, estimates he had 15 to 25 concussions. He now says he has migraines, memory loss and depression.

But he has not been diagnosed with any of the cognitive impairments that make players eligible to collect from the settlement while they’re still living. Only players who have been diagnosed with early dementia, moderate dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or ALS are eligible to collect.

“Let’s keep the window dressing off of it as far as having a parade and a standing ovation for it,” Wycheck told the Tennessean. “I know how bad I have been suffering, and I am not eligible to receive a dime. . . . I find it hard to believe there will be a lot of guys eligible for it because there’s not a lot of guys worse than me.”

It is possible that Wycheck has Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which has been diagnosed in the brains of dozens of deceased former players, many of whom complained of symptoms similar to the symptoms Wycheck is describing. But with CTE, the concussion settlement only provides for players’ estates to collect after they die.

Wycheck believes he should be entitled to something based on what he’s going through right now. But under the terms of the settlement, Wycheck isn’t suffering from anything that would allow him to collect.