The major findings of Junior Seau's autopsy showed that he had no alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of his death. Oh, right: According to a headline trumpeted on CNN's website, Seau's brain also showed no sign of damage. Which must mean football's in the clear, right? Well, no. The medical examiner's autopsy did not examine Seau's brain for CTE, which is microscopic and requires more precise testing that will be done at a later date.
Back in May, after the 43-year-old Seau was found dead in his home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, football-related brain trauma was thought to be a contributing factor. Former NFL safety Dave Duerson had also committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest, and he left behind a note that asked his family to donate his brain for examination by researchers at Boston University. Sadly, the results of that exam revealed Duerson had the "classic pathology of CTE," which often shows up in the brains of people with depression and dementia who have a history of concussions. Seau's brain is also being sent to the National Institutes of Health for additional testing. Any judgment on whether his brain sustained any similar trauma thus must wait.