A few years after his NFL career came to an end, former Ohio State standout Chris “Beanie” Wells began working for 97.1 The Fan in Columbus.
But Wells, who rushed for 3,382 yards in his three seasons with the Buckeyes, has been missing from his role as co-host of The Tim and Beanie Show in recent weeks. On Monday morning, Wells returned to the airwaves and revealed that his absence was health-related.
He has symptoms of head trauma from his football career.
“At this present moment, I’m OK. I did have some health issues going on. I went for an MRI scan of my head and saw some things on there that didn’t quite look right. I had some symptoms that led to me going in for that scan,” Wells said. “I was getting headaches. My speech was getting a little bit indifferent and also, I was forgetting the littlest things.”
Wells, who is just 29 years old, said the MRI showed evidence of “some sort of traumatic brain injury,” which led to him receiving treatment at a facility in California.
“Obviously, that traumatic brain injury for me came from playing football,” Wells said.
Wells said it’s normal for him to stumble over words while he speaks, but his inability to get the correct word out right away when he was speaking was a red flag.
“The stumbling over the words and all that stuff – that’s normal,” Wells said. “But the pausing and having to really think about what I’m getting ready to say because I’m searching for the words, that wasn’t me. I always knew what to say. I always stuttered and talked really fast, but the words that were supposed to be there weren’t there, and that was something that was alarming to me.”
Wells said he experienced those symptoms for six or seven months and that he’s “not out of the woods yet.” But Wells said he’s feeling better and he’s “hopeful” for the future.
Following his three seasons in Columbus, Wells was selected in the first round (No. 31 overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He spent four seasons with the Cardinals, rushing for 2,471 yards and 24 touchdowns in the process. However, his career ended following the 2012 season due to injuries.
Wells’ story is just the latest in a string of former players to reveal evidence of a brain injury. To his credit, Wells is being proactive in addressing the problem, with hopes of improving his quality of life.
– – – – – – –