Latavius Murray of the Oakland Raiders is tackled by Chris Borland of the San Francisco 49ers Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Dec. 7, 2014
Thearon W. Henderson—Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland told Outside the Lines on Monday that he is retiring due to concerns over “the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma.”

According to ESPN, the 24-year-old told the 49ers of his decision on Friday. Borland said he first began to think about the possibility of retiring early during training camp last season. The rookie said he thinks he sustained a concussion, but played through it, partly because he wanted to make the team.

From ESPN:

He said he made his decision after consulting with family members, concussion researchers, friends and current and former teammates, and studying what is known about the relationship between football and neurodegenerative disease.

“I just honestly want to do what’s best for my health,” Borland told “Outside the Lines.” “From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.”

Last week, linebacker Patrick Willis retired because he thought the injuries he had sustained while playing football would keep him from playing at an “elite” level and he was worried about the quality of his life after football. Borland told ESPN that his former teammate’s decision did not play a role in his retirement.

In a statement on Monday, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said Borland’s decision was unexpected.

“While unexpected, we certainly respect Chris’ decision,” said Baalke. “From speaking with Chris, it was evident that he had put a great deal of thought into this decision. He was a consummate professional from day one and a very well respected member of our team and community. Chris is a determined young man that overcame long odds in his journey to the NFL and we are confident he will use the same approach to become very successful in his future endeavors. We will always consider him a 49er and wish him all the best.”

Borland told ESPN that he plans to go back to school to pursue a career in sports management. Borland has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Wisconsin.

ESPN notes that Borland is the fourth NFL player under the age of 30 to decide to retire in the past week.

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