In week 8 of last year’s NFL season, the Seattle Seahawks faced off against the Dallas Cowboys and 5th year wide out Ricardo Lockette suffered a severe neck injury while covering a punt. He was hit by Cowboys safety Jeff Heath and violently fell to the ground. During the play, Lockette suffered a concussion, as well as disk and ligament damage in his neck. Today (May 12), Lockette officially announced his retirement from the NFL in a press conference, citing the injury as the reason he will never take the field again.

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In his 5 seasons with the Seahawks, Lockette raked in 22 catches for 451 yards and 4 touchdowns. He was also one of the premier players for the franchise on special teams. During a recent visit with firefighters and paramedics in the Washington area, Lockette explained how close he came to losing his life on the field that day.

“[The doctors] said if I would have stood up then, the weight of my head — left, right, front, back — I would have died. If one of my teammates would have come over and pulled my arm, just barely, I might have died. Or if the returner at the time would have broken a couple tackles, and they would have rolled and fell on me, I would have died on that field. But what saved my life was the trainers, the work that you guys do.”