The San Francisco 49ers, fresh off of a tough loss in Super Bowl LIV, got another bit of rough news over the weekend as tight end Garrett Celek announced his retirement from football.
Celek, who spent the entirety of eight-year career with the Niners, retires after a back injury caused him major problems, causing him to miss all but five games of the 2019 season and the entirety of the playoffs.
The 31-year-old Ohio native was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State University in 2012. Despite his relative anonymity, he established himself as a 53-man roster player and a solid backup tight end during his first three years on the team.
Celek’s most productive period as a Niner was from 2015 to 2017. During these rough years for the franchise, he was a bright light, catching 10 touchdown passes.
He played sparingly in 2018, and then underwent back surgery that was ultimately unsuccessful during the last offseason, ending his career somewhat prematurely.
The 6’6″ tight end, who was the second-longest tenured player on the team’s roster prior to his announcement, was hailed for his versatility, blocking abilities, and work ethic.
Now, he will ride into the sunset as his post-NFL life kicks off.