- Elaine Thompson/AP
A scary neck injury is forcing Seattle Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette to retire from the NFL.
Lockette, who turns 30 later this month and worked his way onto the Seahawks roster as an undrafted free agent, will announce his retirement in a press conference on Thursday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports.
It’s a sad and premature end for Lockette, who in November nearly died when he collided with Cowboys safety Jeff Heath on a punt return.
“The doctor told me that pretty much my skull, all the muscles, all the ligaments that connect my vertebrae and the cartilage between that – so the cartilage is out, the ligaments torn. He said if I would have stood up then, the weight of my head, left, right, front, back, I would have died,” Lockette said in March.
“If one of my teammates would have come over and pulled my arm, I would have died,” he added. “Just barely. If the returner at the time would have broke a couple tackles and they would have moved and fell on me, I would have died on that field.”
Lockette also said that if the trainers hadn’t stabilized him correctly, he would have died. According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, he has still not recovered fully:
According to #Seahawks sources, WR Riccardo Lockette is unable to rotate his head following neck injury and no choice but to retire
— Ed Werder (@EdwerderRFA) May 12, 2016
Here’s the hit:
“I thank God that I’m here and I thank you guys for the work that you do,” he told the trainers in a video.
- Tom Pennington/Getty