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Spate Of Offseason Kicker Suicides Blamed On Trauma Of Getting Iced By Timeouts

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Spate Of Offseason Kicker Suicides Blamed On Trauma Of Getting Iced By Timeouts

NEW YORK—A study released Friday concerning the four suicide deaths of NFL kickers in recent months suggests the players all exhibited signs of post-timeout stress disorder, a condition blamed on the "hellish psychological torture" of an opposing coach icing them with a timeout right before a field-goal attempt. "Kickers don't like to admit timeouts bother them, because in football's masculine culture that's a sign of weakness," said Dr. Franklin Gould, one of the study's authors, who criticized the league for disputing the harm caused by kicker icing. "This is an extremely harrowing experience for kickers, and we always recommend they take a few weeks off to cope and talk to someone about what they went through. But in most cases, they go right back on the field and attempt the field goal again anyway." The study was particularly harsh on the San Diego Chargers, whose kicker Nick Novak showed "several symptoms" of deteriorating mental health, such as urinating on the sideline, before his shooting spree targeting the Broncos' coaching staff last week.

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