The NFL and its players’ union have an array of health programs designed to help players in their life after football. According to his agent, Phillip Adams did not avail himself of those opportunities.
Adams, a journeyman player, spent six seasons in the league. Authorities say he fatally shot five people in South Carolina — including a prominent doctor, his wife and their two grandchildren — before killing himself early Thursday.
Agent Scott Casterline told The Associated Press the 32-year-old Adams did not participate in the physical and mental health programs that are easily accessible for ex-players.
"We encouraged him to explore all of his disability options and he wouldn’t do it,” Casterline said, noting that Adams' career was undercut by a severe ankle injury as a rookie in 2010. “I knew he was hurting and missing football but he wouldn’t take health tips offered to him. He said he would but he wouldn’t.
“I felt he was lost without football, somewhat depressed.”
The NFL Players Association offers assistance through its Players Athlete Foundation, Former Players department, and The Trust, which launched in 2013 and assists members by providing access to resources, experts and partners after football.
The Trust’s Brain & Body Assessment uses individually tailored assessments by such medical institutions as the Cleveland Clinic and Mass General to give retired players an in-depth evaluation of overall health. The assessments include internal, neurological, neuropsychological/behavioral, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal exams. Also featured is rehabilitation and evaluations of sleep habits, body composition and diet.
“All the areas they examined and assessed,” former NFL player Kendall Simmons said, "from nutrition to body composition, to orthopedics, to mental health examinations, to cognitive and general wellness assessments. I felt very secure having had such a thorough physical.”