Concussions end FitzSimmons' career

The hard decision became easy for Casey FitzSimmons when the Detroit Lions tight end considered his future.

That made walking away from the NFL the only sensible choice, and the one he made as he has elected to retire from the game because of multiple concussions suffered during his seven seasons with the franchise.

Otherwise, FitzSimmons once again would have been a versatile offensive and special teams performer for the Lions this season. Team doctors advised him it was a good idea to walk away and he did so Wednesday, ending a productive career for a player who came from eight-man high school football in Montana and tiny Carroll College.

"This has been a very difficult decision,” FitzSimmons said. “I feel like 2009 was one of the best seasons of my career because I was so consistent and was able to contribute in a variety of ways. If it wasn't for the concussions, I would not be retiring. It's frustrating because the rest of my body is still capable of playing at a high level in the NFL.

"However, given the seriousness of the risk associated with continuing to play, I have to listen to the advice the team has given me.'

A concussion suffered in a Dec. 6 game vs. Cincinnati was his last. He didn’t return the rest of the season. Now, he can plot a healthy future and know he walked away having played the game the right way.

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