NFL Seahawks receiver retires after life-threatening injury

New York (AFP) –


Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, who suffered a life-threatening injury during a game last season, announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday after five seasons.

The 29-year-old veteran, who also handled kicking unit duties, was hurt in the eighth week of last season at a contest in Dallas after taking a hit from Jeff Heath of the Cowboys while covering a punt.

Doctors told Lockette that if he had moved while motionless on the field, or been moved by a teammate, it likely would have led to his death.

Lockette underwent neck surgery in Texas before being transported back to Seattle.

"The doctor told me pretty much my skull, all the muscles, all the ligaments that connect my vertebrae -- if I would have stood up then, the weight of my head, left right, front back, I would have died," Lockette said.

He made 22 career catches for 451 yards and four touchdowns playing for San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle. He was a member of three consecutive National Conference championship teams, taking a Super Bowl crown with the Seahawks in 2014.