After taking a couple days to mull over his decision, 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore has decided to end his NFL career, the team announced today in a press release. Adam Caplan of ESPN.com had reported earlier this week that Lattimore was expected to retire due to ongoing knee issues.
“This was a very difficult decision for Marcus and it was clear after speaking with him that he had put a lot of thought into it,” said 49ers general manager Trent Baalke in a statement. “He is a high-character young man who has done everything asked of him and more during his time with us and we have a great deal of respect for the strength and commitment he showed throughout the rehab process. It has been a pleasure to have Marcus as a member of our team and our community and we are confident that he will be very successful in whichever path he chooses to take in life. We look forward to supporting Marcus and wish him nothing but the best.”
Lattimore, who turned 23 last week, never appeared in a regular season NFL game, having been sidelined by injuries since being selected in the fourth round of the 2013 draft by the Niners. This season, he was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list, and only began practicing last week, at which point he experienced some soreness and was forced to decide whether or not to continue his comeback.
“I have given every ounce of my energy toward making a full recovery from my knee injury, and I have made a lot of progress,” Lattimore said in his own statement. “Unfortunately, getting my knee fully back to the level the NFL demands has proven to be insurmountable. I am grateful for the entire 49ers organization. Their decision to draft me was the realization of a lifelong dream to be an NFL player, and I cannot thank them enough for believing in me and for doing everything in their power to assist in my recovery. I will always be a 49er!”