Junior Seau's family rethinking decision to donate brain

Junior Seau's family is reconsidering its decision to donate the former NFL linebacker's brain to be studied for evidence of damage from his playing career, the San Diego Chargers' team chaplain said Saturday.

"They have now stepped back from what they were thinking initially," Shawn Mitchell said, according to Reuters. "Nothing is definite right now."

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The Brain Injury Research Institute and Boston University both have expressed interest in obtaining Seau's brain for research, an administrator for the institute said last week. The Brain Injury Research Institute attempts to obtain the brains of all ex-players from contact sports.

More than 1,500 former players have sued the NFL over the long-term effects of head injuries. The NFL has denied allegations that it has concealed the links between football and brain injuries, saying it has taken steps to protect players.

Mitchell said he didn't want to give the impression that the family wouldn't allow the late linebacker's brain to be studied.

"They just want to slow down, be sure they're doing it right," Mitchell said. "With the incredible, incredible anguish and grief and pressure of this situation, they've been in a fog. Now, they're getting counsel."

Seau died Wednesday of a gunshot wound to the chest that the San Diego County medical examiner later ruled was self-inflicted.