It has been hypothesized that exposure to repetitive head trauma from contact sports over a long-playing career may eventuate in an increased risk of late-life cognitive impairment. There are currently two competing hypotheses about the possible mechanism underlying such impairment. One is the presence of a unique neurodegenerative disorder known as ‘‘chronic traumatic encephalopathy’’ (CTE). The other is diminished cerebral reserve leading to the earlier clinical expression of age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease(AD). The present study examined informant AD8 inventory data in a sample of 513 retired National Football League(NFL) players. These data were indicative of possible cognitive impairment in 35.1% of this relatively young sample. A comparison of neurocognitive profiles in a subsample of this group to a clinical sample of patients with a diagnosis of MCI due to AD revealed a highly similar profile of impairments. Overall, the data suggest that there may be an increased prevalence of late-life cognitive impairment in retired NFL players, which may reflect diminished cerebral reserve. The findings are considered preliminary, but emphasize the need for larger, controlled studies on this issue.