Former Lions and Packers guard T.J. Lang has retired from the NFL after ten years in the game. The news was first reported by Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press and Lang confirmed his retirement via social media on Friday.
“For the past 3,624 days I have woken up with one goal in mind: ‘How can I be a better pro football player than I was yesterday?’ Well, those days are now over,” Lang wrote. “The only thing I ask myself today is how can I be a better husband, father, son, brother, [and] friend. I will forever cherish the great times that I had playing this game.”
In his farewell address, Lang thanked the Packers for his development and the Lions for allowing him to finish his career near his friends and family in Michigan.
“Thank you Green Bay Packers for taking a chance on a 21-year-old kid and giving me the opportunity and patience to grow into a man and reach my full potential as a football player. Thank you Detroit Lions for granting me a chance to finish my career in the place that I call home,” said Lang. “It would’ve been impossible to play this game for ten years without great teammates, coaches, trainers, strength staff, doctors, agents, fans, family, and friends. I thank each and every one of you for the unwavering support over the years. Whatever the next chapter holds, I hope to stay around the game in some capacity. Its been an amazing ride. Thank you all for being a part of it.”
Lang, 31, was released by the Lions earlier this month after spending the past two seasons in Detroit. It’s not a total surprise Lang has decided to hang up his cleats, as he’s dealt with a myriad of injuries throughout his career. Lang ended the 2018 campaign on injured reserve with a neck injury, and last season suffered the sixth known concussion of his playing career.
While Lang only played in 19 of a possible 32 games while in the Motor City, he was relatively durable during his eight-year career with the Packers. After becoming a full-time starter in 2011, Lang proceeded to appear in 91 games over the next six seasons, missing only five contests during that span.
A former fourth-round pick, Lang earned two Pro Bowl nods (one with Green Bay in 2016, the other with Detroit in 2017), and also won a Super Bowl XLV ring with the Packers. Lang wasn’t able to complete the three-year, $28.5MM contract he signed with the Lions in 2017, but he’ll still end his playing days with more than $43MM in career earnings.
PFR extends it best wishes to Lang and his family as he enters his post-playing career.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.