Jaguars defensive lineman Rodney Gunter is retiring from football.
The 28-year-old veteran made the declaration Sunday in the wake of uncovering he has a genuine heart condition.
“These last three weeks have been a hard pill to swallow,” he posted on Twitter. “Seeing my dreams vanish right in front of me has been extremely difficult. After seeing several heart specialists I was told if I continue to play ball with my condition, I could possibly rupture or tear my aorta which is enlarged. This can cause sudden death or a severe stroke.
“There is a 50/50 chance that surgery will fix my current health condition. But at the moment, I do not meet the criteria to undergo the operation. Those who qualify must have 5.5+ cm enlarged aorta, while mine measures 5.0 cm. At this time, I cannot play or have the surgery so I must wait. So at this moment, the best choice for me and my family is to walk away from this game.
“I appreciate the Jaguars for giving me an opportunity, and I’m thankful for everyone who has believed in me along the way. Thank you!”
Gunter, scheduled to be a save for Jacksonville, was set on the active/non-football ailment list to start training camp.
The defensive tackle/end signed a three-year manage the Jags in March in the wake of playing five seasons for the Cardinals, where begun a career-high 13 games in 2019. Gunter counted 126 tackles, 26 tackles for misfortune and 11 sacks in Arizona, which selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 draft out of Delaware State.