The blow left him unconscious and forced him to miss four games before finally being placed on injured reserve to end his season.
The month after Portis‘ hit and in the aftermath of several high-profile head injuries, the NFL announced a policy that required players who showed signs of concussion to be removed from games and barred them from returning the same day.
“Clinton gave everything he had, there is no question about it,” coach Mike Shanahan, who worked with Portis in Denver and Washington, said Wednesday. “He is one of the most physical players I’ve ever coached. Took a lot of pride in blocking as well as running. He was a credit to the game. I am not going to speak on his behalf of his concussions.”
Portis‘ complaint uses similar language to the more than 260 lawsuits filed, claiming the NFL didn’t do enough to protect players from head injuries and concealed their long-term impact from players. The NFL has repeatedly denied those claims in public statements and in court filings.
Portis and his Miami-based attorneys didn’t return requests for comment.
The litigation has been consolidated in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania. Before ruling on the NFL’s motion to dismiss in July, Judge Anita Brody ordered both sides to mediation. A progress report is due Sept. 3.