Simon Stepaniak's professional career didn't start the way he would have liked, and it's not ending that way he would have wanted, either.
The former Indiana guard, who was a sixth-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 2020 NFL Draft, was placed on the reserve/retired list by the Packers over the weekend. Stepaniak, who went through the first two days of practice, reportedly told the Packers that we was retiring.
Stepaniak tore an ACL in his knee in December of 2019 during Indiana's preparations for its Gator Bowl game with Tennessee. Despite the injury, the Packers drafted him in the sixth round.
Stepaniak, who turned 24 in May, joined the Packers last summer and continued his rehab and was placed on the team's reserve/non-football injury list. Stepaniak was activated in December but was never on the active roster for any of the Packers' final four regular season games. The Packers, who reached the NFC Championship Game last year before losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, placed Stepaniak back on injured reserve in January.
Stepaniak, who was listed as the No. 2 left guard on the Packers' preseason depth chart, took part in the Packers' first two practices, but then missed the Friday and Saturday workouts. According to SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan, Stepaniak informed the team of his decision to retire on Friday.
Stepaniak, a Hamilton, Ohio native, made 31 career starts at guard for Indiana, and played in 41 total games. He was a captain on the 2019 team, and was third-team All-Big Ten selection. He won the Chris Dal Sasso Award in 2019, which is given to Indiana's most outstanding lineman.