NFL legend John Elway opens up about debilitating condition: ‘I couldn’t pick up a football’

Two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback John Elway opened up about his debilitating medical condition that hampered his ability to grip a football.

Elway on Thursday appeared on  NBC’s “Today” and talked about his mission to raise awareness for Dupuytren’s contracture – a progressive hand disorder, which gradually thickens and tightens tissue under the skin in the hand.

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“I couldn’t pick up a football…for me not to be able to pick up a football, that was an emergency,” the current Denver Broncos general manager said.

He added: “I’m doing great today. It’s a condition with your hand that essentially pulls your fingers in towards [your hand] and eventually it gets to the point where you can’t straighten it at all. I got diagnosed with it 15 years ago…I had enough surgeries when I was playing that I didn’t want another surgery. A couple years ago [I] found out that there was a nonsurgical treatment and turned out it’s been great last couple of years.”

Elway said there is still a chance the disorder can come back and if it does he will have to get treatment again for it.

The 59-year-old former NFL MVP played with the Broncos from 1983 to 1998. He won two Super Bowls during his career and made nine Pro Bowls.

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He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

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