New York Giants running back David Wilson’s NFL career is over after two seasons because of a back injury.
The 23-year-old Wilson was told by doctors Monday that he risked more serious problems if he kept playing.
He underwent fusion surgery to repair vertebrae and a herniated disk in his neck in January. At practice last Tuesday, Wilson caught a pass and ran with his head down into the back of an offensive lineman, a hit that caused numbness in his hands and lower extremities.
He missed the final 11 games last season after being diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal cord.
“I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me, or pity me,” he said in a statement released by the team. “I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too.”
Wilson was drafted in the first round, 32nd overall, out of Virginia Tech in 2012. As a rookie, he rushed for 358 yards and scored four touchdowns while making his mark as a kick returner. He got off to a slow start last season before the injury.
Wilson’s condition is not expected to require additional surgery or therapy.