MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The family of Earl Morrall told The New York Times on Wednesday the former Miami Dolphins quarterback was found to have Stage 4 CTE after his death.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, is a progressive degenerative disease found in people who have suffered repetitive brain trauma.
In recent years, Morrall had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and died from complications with the disease in 2014 at age 79.
Morrall was Bob Griese’s backup with the Miami Dolphins but when Griese suffered an injury in 1972, he helped the Perfect Season team to remain that way. That is until Griese replaced him in the AFC Championship Game and went on to win the Super Bowl.
The former Michigan State Spartans quarterback also replaced legendary Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas after an injury in 1968, leading the Colts to a 13-1 record.
Morrall played in 255 games, completing 1,379 passes for 20,809 yards and 161 touchdowns and posted a career 74.1 quarterback rating in a career that spanned 21 years.
After his football career, Morrall became the quarterback coach at the University of Miami in 1979. There he worked with Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar and Vinny Testaverde.
Morrall, who lived in Davie for years after leaving the Dolphins, was elected to the Davie city council in 1989 and eventually became mayor. The town named a pass after him.
He was also inducted into the 2012 Dolphins’ Walk of Fame at the Joe Robbie Alumni Plaza at Sun Life Stadium.