Ex-Patriots player shares harrowing retirement story after hearing of Andrew Luck’s shocking decision to leave the game –

    When indianapolis colts quarterback andrew luck surprisingly announced his retirement over the weekend, one thing really seemed to stick out: the quarterback was quitting football because he was tired of dealing with all the physical pain that He came with his injuries.

    Immediately after his retirement announcement, hundreds of Colts fans and critics came out and questioned the harshness of luck, all the while wondering if he was a coward for ditching his team. One person who definitely didn’t call the shots is Rich Ohrnberger, and that’s because the former NFL offensive lineman knows exactly what the 29-year-old has been going through.

    if you’re wondering what kind of pain it would be for a player to leave football in the prime of his career, ohrnberger answered that question on twitter with a pretty heartbreaking retirement story.

    ohrnberger began his career with the patriots in 2009 after he was selected by new england during the fourth round of the nfl draft. After spending three seasons on Tom Brady’s offensive line, Ohrnberger moved to Arizona in 2012 before signing with the Chargers for the final two years of his career, which is where he begins this story.

    “My last season was in 2014, I was playing for the Chargers and it was a mess,” Ohrnberger wrote. “I had been dealing with severe back pain for two years and it was reaching a breaking point. I became the starting center during a week 1 game in arizona, by week 3 in buffalo I was very weak.”

    Because it’s hard to imagine what exactly someone means when they say they’re “very debilitated,” Ohrnberger gave inside details about just how bad things had gotten for him.

    “My mornings started at 4:30 a.m. crawling from bed to tub, my pregnant wife helping me into the tub and I soaking and stretching until I could walk,” Ohrnberger wrote. “Then I went to the center and did exercises to strengthen my back, but the pain was incessant.”

    If that sounds painful, just wait until you read what he has to say next.

    “it was determined that he would require spinal surgery, but he could continue playing as long as symptoms were manageable,” ohrnberger wrote. “Throughout the season I had five or six epidural injections. Some less than two weeks apart. I constantly fantasized about that surgery.”

    During the 2014 season, Ohrnberger was in so much pain that he couldn’t even sleep. If that sounds familiar, that was the same pain Rob Gronkowski described this week.

    like gronkowski, lack of sleep coupled with injuries made life miserable for ohrnberger (gronk and ohrnberger were actually teammates for two seasons in new england).

    “I wasn’t sleeping because I couldn’t find a comfortable position to relieve the pain,” Ohrnberger said. “I was miserable from the pain. I was scared because I wondered if the pain would ever go away, but I kept playing. I didn’t want to let my family, coaches, teammates or myself down.”

    Although Ohrnberger played eight games in 2014, his season came to an end in November when he suffered an ankle injury against the Raiders. By this time, Ohrnberger’s health had basically hit rock bottom.

    “The time had come to make some tough decisions,” Ohrnberger wrote. “was losing strength in my right leg. my leg was also ‘blank’ or momentarily paralyzed, sometimes while walking or running (hit the ground every time). I was told my loss of strength could be forever.”

    In the end, Ohrnberger decided to have back surgery, and after that he would never play in the NFL again. After attending a tryout with the Lions during the 2015 season but failing to sign, Ohrnberger made the decision to retire while he was sitting in a bar in Detroit.

    ohrnberger then listed all the serious injuries he had to deal with in his nfl career, which basically reads like something out of the wedding.

    ohrnberger told his story as a way of defending the fate of all his critics.

    basically what ohrnberger is saying is that no one should judge an nfl player for retiring because of the pain of the game, because it’s almost impossible to imagine the kind of physical pain these guys have been through.

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