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Vikings' Carlson says he’ll be back in NFL in ’14

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Minnesota Vikings tight end and Litchfield native John Carlson will continue playing football, despite a concussion history that led him to consider retirement at the end of last season.

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The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Carlson intends to return to the NFL, with the Vikings or with another team.

Carlson finished the season on injured reserve due to a concussion he suffered against the Baltimore Ravens. It was his third concussion in six NFL seasons. He reportedly also suffered two more concussions at Notre Dame, the Tribune reported.

Carlson indicated in December that retirement might be an option, but not a foregone conclusion, when his family and physicians discussed his concussion history.

“I never once said I was going to retire; I said I’m going to evaluate this just like I do every year,” Carlson told the Star Tribune on Saturday. “I’ve gone through that process, and I feel great.”

Carlson said the evaluation gives him and his wife a plan for the offseason, including what doctors Carlson should visit and his training program, to prepare for the following season.

Carlson finished the season with 32 catches for 344 yards and a touchdown. He scored his touchdown and gained 283 of those yards after fellow tight end Kyle Rudolph broke his foot in Week 9.

“It’s a serious thing, but I’m not ready to be done,” Carlson told the Tribune. “I’m not done and the doctors are telling me that it’s OK that I’m not done.”

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