Merrill Reese was on the 94 WIP afternoon show Thursday and said this about Jason Kelce (transcription from Andrew Porter) –

“Jason Kelce is a very special individual to me and I honestly hope that he retires. I honestly hope that he retires because I think there is only so much pounding you can take without causing later problems. He’s been pounded a lot, you know what he goes through just to get ready for every single game. And you know how many times he leaves a game and you think, ‘Well he’s out of this game.’ And then after halftime he leads the team back onto the field. He has taken a beaten over these last 13 years and I think for his own health and well being in the future, I think it’s time for him to retire and I say that with all of my heart because I care so much about Jason Kelce the person.”

This is a nice sentiment, and obviously well-intentioned, but what does Merrill know of Jason Kelce’s health and wellbeing? Kelce has been banged up plenty, sure, but he also hasn’t missed a game in almost 10 years. What is the arbitrary threshold for beatings and poundings? Does he have to stop now? Does he have six decent games left? 12? At what point do “later problems” have to be acted upon in the present? For all we know, Kelce could be well past that point and already compromised.

But he’s the only person who can answer that. It doesn’t mean you can necessarily trust people to make the right decisions for themselves, for instance, some guy getting walloped and trying to force his way back onto the field with a concussion. But you only get one brief run as a professional athlete, and choosing when to stop is one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever have to make.