Tight end Jordan Reed walked away from the NFL this week, officially announcing his retirement after seven seasons in the league.
The 30-year-old, however, had a specific reason for doing so.
After suffering multiple concussions, including one that kept him out of the entire 2019 season, Reed knew he had to stop playing.
“I think at this point, what made the choice easy was the fact that I’m dealing with some stuff from concussions and stuff like that,” Reed said, via USA Today. “Before, I was able to ignore it and not think about it too much, but when I start dealing with stuff, that’s when it becomes realistic and makes me sit back and think about what I need to do and how I want to live my life after football.
"I had to really seek professional help and sit down and talk with people ... and it’s definitely the right decision right now.”
‘I’m just physically not able to continue playing’
Reed was selected in the third round of the 2013 draft by the Washington Football Team after an impressive college career at Florida, where he suffered multiple concussions.
He then spent the next six seasons with the team, and spent last year with the San Francisco 49ers, where he racked up more than 3,600 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns.
Throughout his seven years playing in the NFL, however, Reed suffered seven different documented concussions — something that took its toll. Reed said he started suffering from blurry vision and more, and realized that “something wasn’t right.”
It was the hit he took in Atlanta in a 2019 preseason game, however, that really changed things for him. Reed took a direct shot to the helmet, and ended up missing the entire season.
“After that big hit versus Atlanta, I was dealing with blurry vision and things like that and (this winter), I was dealing with similar symptoms where I know something isn’t right and it wouldn’t be smart for me to go back out there and subject myself to further damage,” Reed said, via USA Today.
At this point, he said, it’s just not worth it to him to push things any further.
“It really came down to being able to be a healthy person for my family,” he said, via USA Today. “Being there for my children is what’s most important to me. Dealing with a lot of injuries and concussions, I’m just physically not able to continue playing football anymore."