A Career Downfall Due To an Untreated Sleep DisorderAs seasons passed, Russell wasn’t improving and his success was hardly measurable. After two unsuccessful seasons, the Raiders released Russell, leaving everyone shocked. As speculation built, it wasn’t until recently that Russell blamed lethargic practices and film-watching sessions that were completed in a fatigued and tired state. After quarterback coach John DeFilippo ruled out a busy night-life as the cause of Russell’s lethargy and fatigue, he advised him to seek medical advice and undergo a sleep study. The sleep study held the answers to Russell’s poor NFL performance and he was found to be suffering from sleep apnea. The condition left him tired, unenergetic, lethargic, and unable to concentrate, which may explain his performance problems in the NFL. With his announcement, NFL fans, coaches, and players have become more aware of sleep apnea. Before that, the condition seemed relatively anonymous, even after NFL lineman Reggie White’s death in 2004 due to complications of sleep apnea.