Part of the Panthers’ wide receiver exodus of 2014, Domenik Hixon inked a one-year contract with the Bears shortly after free agency opened in March, and was expected to play a role this season among a group of wideouts led by Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. However, Hixon’s season seems to have come to a premature end. The veteran receiver announced last night on Facebook that he tore his ACL during the team’s first day of OTAs.
“I tore my ACL today for the 3rd time today!” Hixon wrote. “I’m disappointed that I won’t be playing for a Bears team that has the players and coaches to WIN the Super Bowl. I thank God for letting me live my dream of playing in the NFL for 8 years plus. It has truly been FUN! #blessed #lovethisgame.”
As ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter notes (via Twitter), Hixon figures to miss the 2014 season, and based on the receiver’s wording and his injury history, the latest ACL tear could mean the end of his playing career. The former fourth-round pick will turn just 30 in October, but after catching 39 balls for the Giants in 2012, he saw a reduced role in Carolina last season, hauling in just seven passes in 15 games.
Hixon hasn’t made an official decision on retirement yet, so it’s entirely possible he’ll work to rehab his knee and try to get healthy in time for the 2015 free agency period. However, it’ll be an uphill battle for the Akron product, who has accumulated 109 receptions in parts of six seasons for his career.