Lilja had been on the injury report almost every week down the stretch of the season. It's no surprise that he was hurting.
This has to be the toughest season of Lilja's career. Not only were the Chiefs horrible, but the starting center, Rodney Hudson, went down earlier in the season, forcing Lilja to play center for the first time in his NFL career. And, you know what, he actually did a pretty good job, earning strong grades.
Lilja's NFL career started in Kansas City back in 2004 as an undrafted free agent. He's from Kansas City and went to K-State, so he was a local boy.
In 2010, Lilja was a surprise cut by the Colts and he returned to Kansas City, where he played the last three seasons.
Lilja is 31 years old.
I always liked him. He was a professional, and spoke to the media after games. He was honest, too, telling you straight up when he screwed something up (like the snap at the goal line against Baltimore).
The Chiefs will now need a new starting guard.
So long, Ryan Lilja.