About a dozen former Denver Broncos, some from the Orange Crush era, are taking part in a research study they say is helping them recover from post-concussion symptoms and traumatic brain injuries. They believe those injuries were suffered during their playing days.
After going through the protocol, “It was kind of like night and day,” said former Denver Broncos offensive lineman Dave Studdard, “The light came back on, clarity just everywhere.”
Studdard spent 10 seasons with the Broncos from 1979-1988.
CBS4 was on hand as Studdard went through one of his final sessions at New Hope For the Brain, a Lakewood based performance and rehabilitation center. Studdard said he believes he suffered from as many as 200 concussions during his days protecting Bronco quarterbacks like John Elway and Craig Morton.
He said concussion protocol in his playing days consisted of “Take a play off then come back in.” A few years ago, Studdard said he noticed he “couldn’t get anything clear in my mind… a constant fog. I felt like I was in a big fog and didn’t know how to get out.”
In 2015, Studdard heard about the New Hope For The Brain program from another former NFL player and decided to give it a try in an effort to find concussion relief.
After about the third or fourth session Studdard says,”It just opened up on me. I feel like I’m 35 years old again. They’ve given me back my life that the NFL took away from me.”
Studdard is not alone. Jon Keyworth, a former Broncos running back from 1974- 1980. Keyworth lives in Montrose and went through the program last summer after years of what he and his wife describe as severe depression, confusion and anger.
“I could not find or remember what I was doing,” Keyworth told CBS4. “I had thousands of five yard collisions.”