Chris Borland choosing health over football
Chris Borland, the San Francisco 49ers stud rookie linebacker, has announced his retirement from the National Football League. This news has most likely shaken the Bay Area and all 49ers fans worse than the earthquake of ’89, and comes a short time after seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker, Patrick Willis, announced his retirement less than a week ago.
Borland played in 14 games (8 starts) during the 2014 campaign, his rookie season, and amassed 107 combined tackles, 1 sack, and 2 interceptions. During his eight starts last season, he recorded double-digit tackles in five of them, with a career high of 18 tackles in Week 8 against the St. Louis Rams.
One of the most promising young linebackers in the NFL is stepping away from the game he loves because of health concerns caused by multiple head injuries. The former Wisconsin Badger understands that his health is far more important than that of his professional football career, so he is stepping away.
According to Outside the Lines, Borland said, “I just honestly want to do what’s best for my health. From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.”
With Borland’s sudden and seismic retirement, the San Francisco 49ers defense is left with some huge holes to fill. Willis and Borland have now walked away from the game, and that leaves LB NaVorro Bowman and possibly LB Ahmad Brooks to try and fill those gaping holes. Bowman hasn’t seen game action since his knee injury sidelined him for the entire 2014 season, so that might slow him up slightly, though he is more than excited for 2015.
He’d better be ready to fill the shoes of two solid linebackers that won’t be back, even though Bowman is no slouch himself. He tallied almost 150 tackles in each of the 2012 and 2013 seasons, while playing alongside Patrick Willis, and can also get to the quarterback (9.0 career sacks).
All of Niner Nation is hoping for some good news surrounding Justin Smith and his possible retirement as well, especially with their battle cry of “Who’s got it better than us? NOBODY!”
As of right now 49ers fans, about 31 other NFL teams have it better than you.
Dustin Brown covers the NFL for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @SprtsWritingMan.