Steve Young and his agent, Leigh Steinberg, plan to "take a serious look" at the quarterback's repeated head injuries once the San Francisco 49ers' season is over.
Steinberg said earlier reports that he and Young would consider retirement were incorrect. The two would discuss several options, including a special helmet."I hope that he can play longer. He hopes that he can play longer. We just have to take a serious look at it," Steinberg said.
Young has two concussions in the last three games.
"Steve is not in denial" about the seriousness of his head injuries, Steinberg said. Young has consulted a neurologist and concluded that he could continue to play this season.
Young was benched on doctor's orders after the second concussion, which occurred early in last Sunday's 20-17 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Elvis Grbac will start in place of Young on Sunday when the 49ers (7-3) play host to Baltimore (3-7). Young expects to start Nov. 24 at Washington.
Jeff Brohm will back up Grbac on Sunday, and the 49ers signed 1992 Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torreta on Friday as the inactive, or emergency, quarterback just in case.
Young could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday but earlier this week said he felt fine.
"I talked to the neurologist and he saw how good I felt. I think he wanted to say, `Go ahead and play,' but just felt because of two in 14 days it would be wise to take time off," Young said.
Last year, Steinberg organized a seminar for athletes concerning head injuries. Young and fellow Steinberg clients Troy Aikman of the Dallas Cowboys and Warren Moon of the Minnesota Vikings were among those who attended.
Steinberg noted that research indicates concussions lead to an "increased risk of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's and senility."
"Brain function is the last frontier of medical research," he said. "No doctor can say how many concussions is too many."
Young has had six serious concussions since he started playing pro football in 1984. But it is difficult to determine exactly how many concussions Young has had because the quarterback tends to play through what he calls `mini-concussions."