Seattle cornerback Kalan Reed’s devastating potential career-ending neck injury is a stark reminder of the brutal dangers of the NFL just a week before the new season kicks off.
The 25-year-old was fighting it out at camp for the Seahawks’ nickel corner spot when he suffered the damage to his third and fourth vertebrae.
Initially placed on Injured Reserve by coach Pete Carroll, the former Tennessee Titan’s agent Harold Lewis has now revealed the terrible news that it may be the end for the youngster.
His news shines a light on the brutal realities of the National Football League just days after superstar signal caller Andrew Luck threw in the towel because of his injury woes with the Indianapolis Colts.
While Luck, just 29, was able to get out still in reasonably good health, nickelback Reed has seemingly not been so lucky.
The third-year pro was the 2016 draft’s Mr Irrelevant, with the Titans selecting him in the seventh round before handing him a four-year deal worth $2.4million.
However, he only got on the field seven times in his two years there before moving on to the Seahawks.
After Justin Coleman moved on from Seattle, Reed was in the hunt to replace him as the starting nickelback in Carroll’s defence for the coming season.
And it looked like he may be set to beat out the competition prior to being placed on IR.
Seattle head Coach Carroll told reporters at the beginning of August: “Kalan Reed has done a really nice job right now pass coverage-wise. He’s done all that stuff well enough that he can hold his spot.”
But after successful shows against the Broncos and Vikings, he was struck down with the injury, with NFL Network insider Ian Rapaport revealing Reed had suffered numbness.
He Tweeted yesterday: “CB Kalan Reed suffered a neck injury that not only landed him on IR but also is likely career-ending, agent Harold Lewis tells me.
“Injuries to the 3rd and 4th vertebrae led to numbing after his final game and put him at serious risk if he plays again. A tough reality.”
Not For Long
The long-standing and somewhat morbid joke that NFL actually stands for Not For Long becomes ever truer with Reed’s injury.
Lasting just three years in the league, the constant cut and thrust of professional football’s latest victim must now attempt to move on from an all-consuming sport.
It also comes as Colts’ QB Luck has announced his retirement, giving up on hundreds of millions of pounds in earnings in order to salvage what quality of life he can.
And with a growing emphasis on mental health and the wellbeing of players, injuries such as Reed’s will now serve as a further warning to many about the brutal realities and may see more players leaving the game by choice rather than being forced out in pain.