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Robert Quinn's Brain Tumor And Other Incredible Stories

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There are a lot of incredible stories in the 2011 NFL Draft—26-year-old ex-firefighter Danny Watkins is one of them—but St. Louis Rams first-round pick Robert Quinn might be the most incredible. Two things kept Quinn from being one of the top two or three picks in this year's draft. One was a year of ineligibility handed down by the NCAA after he accepted gifts from an agent; the other is that he has had a benign brain tumor since high school, one that kept a few NFL medical staffs from clearing him as a possible draft pick and that might have helped him fall to the Rams at 14 in the first place. 

Quinn has to have the tumor checked every six months to make sure nothing changes, but in the meantime the Rams staff has cleared him to play. It's a scary situation, but it's not an especially uncommon one if you look at it from a strictly football standpoint. Every player is at risk of a career-ending injury, and some more than others. The Rams take on a miniscule amount of extra risk in selecting Quinn, but it's likely no more than the Atlanta Falcons took on by picking Julio Jones, with his history of football-related injuries.