Tight end Jake Ballard announced his retirement from the NFL Wednesday at the age of 26.
Ballard tore his ACL during the Giants' victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. He was claimed off waivers by the Patriots when the Giants attempted to place him on injured reserve during the 2012 preseason. The Patriots kept him on the physically unable to perform list for the entirety of the 2012 season.
Ballard signed with the Cardinals in November 2013 and spent the rest of the season with the team.
Ballard released a statement announcing his retirement in which he cited his ACL injury as a major factor in his decision.
"After sustaining a serious knee injury while playing for the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, my body never felt the same," the statement read in part. "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."
- Dan Gartland