Former NFL player diagnosed with ALS wonders if football is to blame

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EARTH CITY, MO (KTVI)-A year ago, Tim Shaw was playing football with the Tennessee Titans. Now, he's battling ALS. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often called “Lou Gehrig’s disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher was Shaw's coach when he played in 2010 for the Tennessee Titans. When fisher heard that Shaw was coming to town he invited him out to watch the Rams practice.

Shaw said, “It's funny, I'm a Rams fan now. I was not before today but....."

Shaw spent the day renewing old friendships with several Rams coaches and players, but life has changed for this former tough and gritty linebacker and special teams captain. Many current players are paying special attention to his new mission. Shaw is at least the fourth NFL player to be diagnosed with ALS in the past seven years.

“Here I stand, 30 years old and diagnosed with ALS. Is the NFL to blame? I want to find out. I don’t blame them personally but let’s do the research."

Shaw was diagnosed with ALS in April. He announced the diagnosis in August.

”My body fights me a little bit on some things. I am staying active. I'm staying moving. I will not stop. I won't sit down and sit still."

Tim took the Ice Bucket Challenge over the summer, but he says he has to do more.

“The ice bucket challenge? It’s gone. It’s in the back of our minds. So let’s move forward. Let’s keep talking about this lets keep raising money. Let’s keep raising awareness."

Follow Tim Shaw on Twitter.