ShareThis Page
Steelers

Steelers safety Mike Mitchell: CTE test would not benefit me right now

Jerry DiPaola
| Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, 2:18 p.m.
The Steelers' Mike Mitchell misses Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith in the fourth quarter Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 at Arrowhead Stadium.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Steelers' Mike Mitchell misses Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith in the fourth quarter Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 at Arrowhead Stadium.
Steelers safety Mike Mitchell looks to lay a hit on the Browns' Richardo Louis Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017 at FirstEnergy Stadium Cleveland Ohio.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers safety Mike Mitchell looks to lay a hit on the Browns' Richardo Louis Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017 at FirstEnergy Stadium Cleveland Ohio.

Steelers safety Mike Mitchell said he would want to be tested for CTE, if a test existed for living humans, but he would prefer to wait until after his football career has ended.

Asked the same question, Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva said, “Sure, I don't see why not.”

The questions posed to Mitchell and Villanueva were prompted by Sports Illustrated asking several NFL players, including Steelers cornerback Artie Burns, what they would do if they were diagnosed with CTE.

“I definitely know I have it,” Burns said, according to SI. “I'm going to (test positive for) CTE. I don't need a test. Is it going to tell me how much I have? We play a physical sport, man. Humans are not made to run into each other.”

After practice Thursday, Burns, 22, backpedaled from those comments, saying his remarks were taken out of context.

“If the question was asked again, I would make sure I put everything in detail of what I actually meant,” he said. “I actually said what I meant in the interview, but you know how that goes.

“I don't think I have CTE. I have no symptoms of CTE. I don't any disabilities. I'm not injured. I was just speaking on a topic. I said playing physical sports, that's the cause of it. I never said I had it.”

Mitchell, 30, said a CTE test “would do me no good right now.”

“Yeah. I'm still playing. I still plan on playing a couple more years. I don't think it would benefit me to know that right now. Maybe in a couple years, obviously, yeah, I'd probably want to look into it.”

He also questioned Sports Illustrated's timing in asking the question.

“Why Sports Illustrated is asking that, I have no idea,” Mitchell said. “We're in season, in the middle of the December. That sounds like a distraction to me.”

When Mitchell was asked if he would want to keep playing regardless, he didn't answer and the interview ended.

Later, Villanueva, 29, said he would welcome a CTE test.

“If they want to do a cholesterol test on me, I'll take it as well,” he said.

“Why would I not take any test that's going to help me determine what steps should I take to prolong my life span and my quality of life? It's a no-brainer. I would definitely do it.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me