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Ravens OL Urschel retires

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Just hours after it was announced Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will be out three-to-six weeks with a disc injury in his back, one of his offensive lineman has called it quits. John Urschel, 26, has retired.

Urschel was a guard and center for the Ravens. He played in 40 games, including 13 starts.

John Urschel (Getty Images)

John Urschel (Getty Images)

Urschel is a doctoral candidate at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, abruptly walked away from the NFL. His decision to walk away — and the first player to retire since the news — comes two days after a study was released that said 99% of NFL players, whose brains were tested, suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

The study was done with brains that were donated following their deaths. So many players are retiring at a younger age because they fear they may have suffered from the brain disease after playing in the NFL.

“Thank you to everyone for the kind words today,” Urschel said. “It wasn’t an easy decision, but I believe it was the right one for me. There’s no big story here, and I’d appreciate the right to privacy. I’m extremely grateful to the Ravens, and blessed to have been able to play the game I love at the highest level.”

According to ESPN, he was expected to compete for the team’s starting center role before retiring. His fiancée is expected the couple’s first child in December.

“We respect Jon and respect his decision,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. “We appreciate his efforts over the past three-years and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

He was a fifth-round pick by the Ravens in the 2014 NFL Draft.

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