NFL

Former NFL DE Bubba Smith suffered from CTE before his death in 2011

BALTIMORE, MA- CIRCA 1970: Defensive Tackle Bubba Smith #78 of the Baltimore Colts in this portrait on the field waiting for the offense to come to the line of scrimage circa early 1970's during an NFL football game at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Smith played for the Colts from 1967-71. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE, MA- CIRCA 1970: Defensive Tackle Bubba Smith #78 of the Baltimore Colts in this portrait on the field waiting for the offense to come to the line of scrimage circa early 1970's during an NFL football game at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Smith played for the Colts from 1967-71. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

BOSTON -- The Concussion Legacy Foundation says former NFL defensive end Bubba Smith was diagnosed with the brain disease CTE by researchers after his death.

Smith died in 2011 at 66. He's one of 90 former NFL players diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy since 2008 at a brain bank affiliated with Veteran Affairs, Boston University and the foundation. Out of four stages of the disease, the foundation says Smith had stage 3 CTE.

Smith was the first pick in the 1967 NFL Draft after a career at Michigan State, which led him to the College Football Hall of Fame. He played a total of nine seasons for the Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers.

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