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Bills linebacker A.J. Tarpley announces retirement, citing concussions

Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 29: Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs slides down before getting hit by A.J. Tarpley #59 of the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium during the third quarter of the game on November 29, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Whether former 49er Chris Borland is right that early retirements will become the new normal remains to be seen, but another linebacker has decided to hang it up after one season.

Bills linebacker A.J. Tarpley announced his retirement tonight via social media, citing concerns about concussions alongside a picture of him sitting on the turf after a play against the Jets.

“The only thing comforting about not knowing this play would be the last of my career, is knowing that I never took a second for granted,” he wrote. “After months of introspection, I am retiring from football. I suffered the 3rd and 4th concussions of my career this past season and I am walking away from the game I love to preserve my future health.

“This decision is the hardest I’ve made yet but after much research and contemplation I believe it’s what is best for me going forward.”

Tarpley made the Bills last year as an undrafted rookie from Stanford and played in 14 games, starting two. While he wasn’t the contributor Borland was during his rookie year, he showed some degree of promise before walking away while he could.