Rhett Ellison retires from the NFL

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher 

Published on Monday, March 9, 2020 at 7:44 pm EST

Rhett Ellison retired from the NFL on Monday. He spent the last three seasons with the New York Giants.

He missed the final six games of the season last season following a concussion. It’s not clear if this concussion drove him into retirement, as some players have been forced to retire following long-term concussion symptoms.

Former New York Giants tight end Rhett Ellison running with the football after a reception
Rhett Ellison running with the football after a reception (Photo by Evan Pinkus/New York Football Giants)

“The past few weeks, it’s kind of been an emotional rollercoaster,” Ellison said. “But the overwhelming feeling I have is gratitude. Just thinking back to all the people in my life, even before I put pads on, that were able to nurture and grow the gifts God put into me and make this career possible. I think that was the biggest thing that was the fun part about the retirement process, which is reflecting on those people, thanking those people, reaching out and just the lessons they taught me, the tools they gave me for my life after football.”

When Ellison did play in 2019, he had 18 receptions for 167 yards and a touchdown.

The 31-year-old Portola Valley, California native appeared in 40 games, including 33 starts with the Giants. He had 67 receptions for 674 yards and four touchdowns.

He came to the Giants after playing five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. With the Vikings, he appeared in 73 games, including 41 starts.

Ellison had 51 receptions for 515 yards and three touchdowns.

“In the back of my head, there’s always that, ‘I get it, this could be my last game,’ just because of the nature of the sport,” he said. “When I ruptured my patella tendon (in 2016), that was the first time I realized, ‘Oh wait, this can end at any moment.’ Since that injury, it’s kind of stuck with me, like, ‘Don’t take these games for granted. Don’t take these opportunities for granted.’ I was never surprised. I know injuries are a part of the game. There’s no way I could have told you that was going to be my last game, but it ended up being my last game.

“But my mentality, just from having multiple injuries throughout my career, was you realize how short your time is on the field and you never really know when it’s going to end.”

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