Former Detroit Lions star Alex Karras -- the guy who played Mongo in "Blazing Saddles" -- says he now suffers from dementia ... and blames the NFL for not properly protecting him from concussions during his playing days.
Karras -- who also starred in "Webster" -- has joined hundreds of ex-NFL players in a lawsuit that seeks medical monitoring, cognitive health benefits as well as financial compensation for the damage he suffered as a result of brain injuries.
Karras' wife has released a statement saying, "Alex suffers from dementia but still enjoys many things, including watching football. But dementia prevents him from doing everyday activities such as driving, cooking, sports fishing, reading books and going to big events or traveling."
She adds, "His constant complaint is dizziness -- the result of multiple concussions. What Alex wants is for the game of football to be made safer and allow players and their families to enjoy a healthier, happier retirement.”