The ankle injury that ended Seth Russell's Baylor career kept his NFL career from ever really getting off the ground.

By Bruce Feldman
September 18, 2017

Former Baylor star quarterback Seth Russell has decided on a medical retirement from football after being plagued by issues stemming from a fractured left ankle, he told SI Monday.

“It just has never got better,” Russell says. “I’d figured it was gonna be a six-month deal. I was working my butt off but whenever I start running, I feel it all through my calf and it’s basically my whole foot [that’s in pain]. It’s been frustrating, but that’s life. You make a decision and I’m moving on.”

After leading the Bears to No. 2 in the country midway through the 2015 season, Russell sustained a C6 neck fracture against Iowa State. He came back in ’16 and played very well, beating out current Auburn starter Jarrett Stidham for snaps, before a left ankle fracture and ligament injury against Oklahoma last November. In his career at Baylor, Russell had 60 touchdowns against 18 interceptions and ran for 20 more touchdowns.

Russell, who had once been timed at sub-4.5 in the 40, wasn’t able to compete at the Senior Bowl, nor do any standard physical testing at the NFL combine or at his pro day. After going undrafted, he went to rookie minicamp with the Raiders and Saints and had tryouts with the Colts, Bengals, and Cowboys, but he wasn’t ever able to rehabilitate the left ankle sufficiently, hampering him from rolling out or dropping back with enough speed and strength.

He recently got married and says he hopes to get into coaching and has begun the process of searching for a job. “I’d love to be at the college level if I can become a [graduate assistant] somewhere.”

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