BOSTON (AP) — Sideline reporter Ross Tucker is bringing the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” to the Army-Navy game, using the iconic matchup to remember two former players who died and were diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease.
Tucker will wear shoes adorned with images of Demaryius Thomas and Chris Eitzmann, who were both found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The condition affects athletes and others who sustain repeated head trauma.
“Called a bunch of Demaryius Thomas games in NFL & played against Chris Eitzmann in college,” Tucker tweeted, along with images of the shoes that include the logo of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Tucker usually works Philadelphia Eagles broadcasts, but won't be at this weekend's game against the Tennessee Titans, when the NFL offers players and others the opportunity to wear special shoes to bring awareness to a personal cause.
Instead, he will wear the shoes at the game between the military academies in Philadelphia on Dec. 10.
Thomas, a four-time Pro Bowl receiver with the Denver Broncos, was found to have CTE after he died last year at the age of 33. Eitzmann, who played at Harvard and then briefly in the NFL for the New England Patriots, also died last December and was diagnosed with CTE.
Last year, Tucker wore shoes decorated with brain scans from players affected by CTE.