Former Kansas City Chiefs DE Mike DeVito retired at 31 years of age. That seems young compared to other jobs but in the NFL he’s an old guy, a veteran.
I wondered when DeVito retired if it had anything to do with injuries because in the past two seasons he’s torn his Achilles and suffered two concussions. DeVito said in an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio (via CBS Sports) that concussions did indeed play a role in his decision to retire.
"If it was just me up here and I didn't have a family, my wife and two sons, that'd be one thing. I probably would have went back,” DeVito said. “But my wife has really helped me make that decision, to say, 'OK, you know, I can't sit through watching you get these concussions and watching you tear your Achilles and all those kind of things.'“
I imagine there are many players having this same discussion each year. I really hope that all players have someone they’re close with that can provide this kind of counsel. Many players will keep playing with or without concussion concerns.
"And the thing is, when you start messing with your head -- you're likely to recover from an Achilles injury or a knee injury and things like that -- but when I started getting concussions, I had two right in a row, you've got to be really careful,” DeVito continued. “You see the new data coming out. That really changes who you are as a person. So it was a tough sell to my wife and, obviously, she's a higher priority to me than football is. It made the decision easy, but it still was difficult."
As the father of a four month old, I can confirm that kids change everything.
(The Star pointed out he said this about concussions back in April when he first announced his retirement.)