Why Is 23-Year-Old David Wilson Retiring from Football?

When 2012 first round draft pick David Wilson told the world that he was being advised against continuing his NFL career, the 23-year-old chose his words carefully. “I’m thankful that I can literally walk away from the game and that I am healthy and capable of doing the same things I have done all my life, except play football,” he told the league and NFL fans in a press release sent out by the Giants. “I always try to find the positive in everything. This morning when I saw Dr. Cammisa and Dr. Warren, I didn’t hear what I wanted to hear, but I expected that what they told me could be a possibility.”

The running back, who had played in 21 games and started six in his two-season NFL career, compiled just over 500 yards and six touchdowns, his last celebrated with a double backflip in the end zone, before being forced to leave the game. His promising 2013 season was cut short when he suffered a neck injury in October. The injury would ultimately lead to spinal fusion surgery and his eventual retirement, although it’s not being called that. An official retirement would force him to forgo the injury protection on his remaining salary (as of now he could still collect half of his $1.3 million salary for 2015 and will make the entirety of his 2014 pay), per Mike Garafolo.

At age 8 I told my #Dad I wanted to play football in THE NFL at this point in my life I have done that.” Wilson wrote on Instagram. “It’s a great feeling to live a out dream. Unfortunately that has been paused but I am blessed that I am able to walk away from this game healthy and still able to be me with no restrictions pain or struggle.