Erik Kramer

ERIK KRAMER, 50, quarterback with Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago and San Diego, 1987-99, shot himself on 8/18/15 in what his former wife, Marshawn Kramer, called a suicide attempt.  The two divorced in 2010, with Marshawn telling NBC News: “I know Erik and I would still be together if not for his football injury.”  She called it a “brain injury.”  “He is a very amazing man, a beautiful soul, but he has suffered depression since he was with the (Chicago) Bears,” Kramer said.  “I can promise you he is not the same man I married.”  Kramer spent five seasons with the Bears, three with Detroit and one each with Atlanta and San Diego (plus three with Calgary in the CFL).  He started 67 games over his 10-year career, throwing for 15,337 yards, 92 touchdowns and 79 interceptions.  Kramer’s son, Griffen, died of a heroin overdose in 2011.  A quarterback at Thousand Oaks High School in California at the time, Griffen Kramer had battled drug abuse in the past.  The couple has another son, 17-year-old Dillon.  Marshawn Kramer said Erik Kramer is a wonderful father who adored his son.  “He’s such a good dad and he would not do this to his son,” she said. “This is brain injury.”–“Erik Kramer suffers non-life-threatening gunshot wound, report says”, ESPN.com News Services 8/19/15.  “Ex-NFL QB Erik Kramer Wounded in Apparent Suicide Attempt”, NBCnews.com 8/20/15, Andrew Blankstein and Phil Helsel.

Jeb Putzier

JEB PUTZIER, 36, tight end with Denver, Houston and Seattle, 2002-08, suffered brain damage from many concussions and the residual effects from numerous cortisone injections, became depressed and tried to commit suicide.  After football his personality changed significantly for the worse, he became fatigued so easily that he couldn’t hold his job with a medical equipment company, and was divorced.  Chronic fatigue may have been partially caused by the numerous cortisone and Toradol injections Putzier took throughout his career.  Dr. Greg Hipskind, the chief medical advisor of CereScan, said, “If those cortisol levels in your bloodstream are high, it turns off your brain signals to make more,” Hipskind said. “When that signal remains off for a long time it’s hard for it to restart.”  Putzier now undergoes daily infrared laser treatments to the skull.  He also goes through eyeball movement therapy which helps put the brain cells back in sync.  His condition has markedly improved.–“NFL Aftermath: Life a medical struggle for Jeb Putzier”, 9news.com 7/6/15, Mike Klis.