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