The Arizona Cardinals lost a tight end as Jake Ballard retired suddenly from the team yesterday afternoon. Ballard played four seasons in the NFL with the New York Giants, New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals.
Ballard won a Super Bowl with New York but that win came with a heavy price tag. In that game, Ballard suffered a serious knee injury that knocked him out of the game early in the fourth quarter. He tried to come back but collapsed in pain on the sidelines with what would later be diagnosed with a torn meniscus.
He released a statement about his retirement.
Yesterday I made the difficult decision to retire from the game of football,” Ballard said in a statement. “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. It was an honor and a privilege to play for the NY Giants, New England Patriots, and most recently the Arizona Cardinals. I met amazing people from all of my teammates, to opponents, to trainers, to coaches, to owners, and everyone in between. I thank you for allowing me to be a part of your fraternity and I wish you all nothing but success.”
It’s sad to see a promising tight end have his career cut short by injury but he joins a fraternity of players who were forced out of the game way too early due to injuries. He joins David Wilson as the second player with ties to the Giants to have their career cut short this week with serious injuries.
The Cardinals roster gets a shake-up at the tight end position. John Carlson and Troy Niklas could compete for the top spot while Rob Housler could breathe a sigh of relief about his spot on the roster. Daniel Fells is contending as well for the fourth tight end spot.