Here's Why NFL Fans Shouldn't Worry That Justin Fields Has Epilepsy

Ahead of the draft, some NFL fans are concerned that former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has epilepsy. Here's why it's not a reason to freak out.

Gina Vaynshteyn - Author

Apr. 28 2021, Published 8:32 p.m. ET

Justin Fields epilepsy
Source: Instagram

Earlier this week, it was reported that former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has epilepsy. This was announced ahead of the draft, and while some NFL fans are concerned about whether or not Justin's neurological disorder will impact his playing, a lot of people are actually really supportive. Especially since it was confirmed by specialists and experts that Justin will grow out of the disorder, and that it should't affect his games.

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"wow, now i’m rooting for Justin Fields even more. i have epilepsy but neurologist think i’ve outgrown of my seizures too," one person tweeted.

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Another person tweeted, "I was rooting for Justin Fields already, but as someone with epilepsy, I can't wait to see him play in the NFL."

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What know about Justin Fields' epilepsy.

Former NFL doctor David Chao states that Justin Fields has a "childhood seizure disorder" (i.e. epilepsy), but that he will likely grow out of it. Since Justin didn't have any episodes in college, is on medication, and has family members who grew out their epilepsy diagnosis, there should be no real reason to worry about Justin's performance. Plus, he wouldn't be the first NFL player to have epilepsy.

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"In reality, there is very little real concern… The epilepsy or seizure disorder really isn’t a big concern. It’s a childhood seizure disorder, he’s on medication, he’s well-controlled, he had no episodes in college, and usually you grow out of it. During my time as a head physician in the NFL we dealt with several players with seizure disorders. They did fine, and we didn’t even downgrade them in terms of the Draft when they were well-controlled like this," Dr. Chao told Fox Sports Radio.

He added, "I don’t think Justin Fields will fall in the Draft on Thursday due to his medical conditions. I think he will be fine even though there has been lots of discussion about his health.” 

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Former NFL guard Alan Faneca took to Twitter showing his support as a fellow NFL player who also has epilepsy: "If I did it, so can @justnfields, and so can anyone else. It is part of us, but does not define us! #epilepsy #neverstopdreaming."

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Not only has Justin not had any seizures in the last several years, he's proven himself to be an incredibly talented player. He won a few Big Ten Conference awards while playing for Ohio State, and was a finalist for the prestigious Heisman Trophy when he was a sophomore in 2019. He was so good, that when he transferred from Georgia to Ohio State's team, he didn't have to sit out a season (per the NCAA rules). He was allowed to immediately begin playing, which is a big deal.

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And if fans are worried about his previous injuries (in January 2021, he had a very painful hip pointer injury), don't worry: He's been checked out by doctors and seems to be in great shape. 

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At the time Ohio State coach Ryan Day said, "For him to go out there and play today really shows his toughness and how much he loves his brothers. He still took some shots on that hip. He was not 100 percent tonight. He was working through it and made some really good throws, made some gutsy plays, kept us in the game there for a while, but he's an unbelievable player, and I'm going to miss him."

Sounds like the NFL is lucky to have Justin.

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