One of the scariest incidents of the entire 2015 NFL season came during week eight when Seattle Seahawks wideout Ricardo Lockette fell victim to a vicious block thrown by Dallas Cowboys safety Jeff Heath on a punt return. The hit knocked Lockette to the turf where he laid motionless on the field for approximately 11 minutes before being taken off on a stretcher.
— Flanny’s Bag Skate (@DailyBagSkate) May 12, 2016
Lockette suffered multiple torn ligaments in his neck, as well as damaged cartilage. The injury required surgery and ended Lockette’s 2015 season and on Thursday, the injury is also expected to end Lockette’s football career, as the five-year vet is going to hold a press conference to announce his retirement according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
#Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette will announce his retirement tomorrow at a press conference, source said. He suffered a serious neck injury
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 11, 2016
The injury reportedly still lingers to this day, and according to Lockette, the injury was so bad that it actually could have killed him had he stood up, which he told to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
“The doctor told me that pretty much my skull, all the muscles, all the ligaments that connect my vertebrae and the cartilage between that — so the cartilage is out, the ligaments torn. He said if I would have stood up then, the weight of my head, left, right, front, back, I would have died.”
Ricardo Lockette was the type of guy that the average football fan wanted to see succeed in the NFL. Lockette originally made the Seahawks roster as an undrafted free agent rookie in 2011 and after being cut multiple times and signed to practice squads in Seattle and San Francisco, Lockette was finally rewarded with a roster spot and a Super Bowl ring with Seattle in 2013. Now, after five seasons of working his tail off and having been put through a continuous process of being signed, cut, and demoted, Lockette’s career is over at the age of 30.
Sadly for Ricardo Lockette, his story of working his way up to starting wideout from practice squad player is not what he will be remembered as. Rather, he will be remembered by most football fans for being on the receiving end of Malcolm Butler’s game-saving interception in Super Bowl XLIX, where Butler jumped the slant route at the goal line and…. nevermind, you know the rest.
A closer look at Patriots Malcolm Butler’s interception in SB XLIX! Best Super Bowl ever! https://t.co/jUfrmKoHn7
— Boston Sports News (@BostonSprtsNews) February 2, 2016
Anyway, tough break for Ricardo Lockette and hopefully he has a future in either coaching, broadcasting, or something else because nobody deserves to have to go out like that. While this injury took away Lockette’s ability to play professional football, thankfully, it did not take away his ability to walk or anything worse.