After three years in the NFL, Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel has decided he's had enough, informing the Ravens on Thursday he's retiring from football.
Only 26 and expected to compete for a starting job, this decision certainly came as a surprise.
Urschel was expected to be in the conversation to start at center in Baltimore, who traded last year’s starter Jeremy Zuttah to the 49ers during the offseason.
Matt Skura and Ryan Jensen are the other candidates for the Ravens.
The announcement also comes just two days after a study about the prevalence of CTE in NFL players was released.
His head coach, John Harbaugh released a statement after he was told of Urschel's retirement plans.
Coach Harbaugh's statement on John Urschel's retirement. pic.twitter.com/n6XX1E7oGO— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) July 27, 2017
A Ph.D. candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Urschel suffered a concussion in 2015, and Harbaugh told a story that shouldn’t surprise anyone about the Ravens’ brilliant mathematician.
“You’re told when you get a concussion not to listen to certain things, not to read certain things, not to study certain things, not to do some certain things that might hurt the concussion part of the brain there,” Harbaugh is quoted in the Baltimore Sun as saying. “So, my man goes out the second day afterwards and does high-level math problems just to see where he’s at.
FACT: Advanced math helps the brain heal after a concussion.— John Urschel (@JohnCUrschel) August 18, 2015
Urschel clearly has plans for his life after football, but it also leaves the Ravens in a situation where they may have to look for another offensive lineman to fill his spot.
Center Nick Mangold is a candidate, still on the market, and could be a possibility.