Dec 1, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Arizona Cardinals tight end Jake Ballard (86) along the sidelines prior to playing the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Cardinals 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals' Jake Ballard announces retirement from NFL

On a day when new York Giants running back David Wilson retired after just two season because of recurring neck injuries, another player is stepping down as well. Tight end Jake Ballard, who played with the New York Giants, New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals, is also stepping down at the age of 26.

Ballard cites an ACL injury as the reason for he is ending his career early. At Lucas Oil Stadium, during the fourth quarter of the Giants’ Super Bowl XLVI win, he collapsed while trying to test out his knee. It wasn’t until later that tests revealed a torn ACL and cartilage damage that eventually required microfracture surgery.

“Yesterday I made the difficult decision to retire from the game of football,” Ballard said in a statement, via ProFootballTalk. “I love this game and have put my heart and soul into it for as long as I can remember. After sustaining a serious knee injury while playing for the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, my body never felt the same.

“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.”

Tags: Arizona Cardinals New England Patriots New York Giants

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