Posted by Anthony Carillo | Featured Columnist
Twenty six-year-old Tight End Jake Ballard made a tough decision today as he announced his retirement from the NFL, citing knee problems that stem from that infamous moment in Super Bowl XLVI when the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots.
The Giants signed Ballard as an un-drafted free agent back in 2010. Ballard was injured at Lucas Oil Stadium while trying to test out the functionality of his knee in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl XLVI. Tests revealed that he’d suffered a torn ACL and cartilage damage that eventually required micro-fracture surgery.
“Having a quality of life after football is very important to me and I have witnessed it taken away from others. I will miss the game tremendously, but I am ready for this next chapter in my life,” said Ballard in a press conference held today.
He played 14 games for the Giants, reeling in 38 catches for 604 yards and 4 touchdowns. In 2012 the Giants tried to pass Ballard through waivers and put him on the injured reserve, but Bill Belichick and the Patriots scooped him up before Big Blue could bring him back.
Ballard played for the Arizona Cardinals in 2013, seeing playing time in 8 regular season games, grabbing 7 catches for 75 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The news of Ballard cutting his career short comes off the heels of the early retirement of Giants running back David Wilson, who injured his neck in a Week 5 game against the Eagles last season, missed the rest of the 2013 season and had spinal fusion surgery in January.
After aggravating his neck injury during training camp, he was advised to retire from football before any more damage could be done.