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Sidney Rice retires after career marked by concussions, injuries

(Stephen Brashear / AP)

Sidney Rice retired from football on Wednesday, saying he wants “to be able to function and do things later down the road.”

Rice, 27, has had a number of injuries that limited his seven-year career at wide receiver. He tore his anterior-cruciate ligament last fall and had other knee problems. He missed 10 games in 2010 after having hip surgery and he missed five games in 2011 because of concussions. It was the last of those that led to Rice’s decision, an unnamed source told USA Today, but Rice wasn’t specific when he spoke with

“I was just thinking about things I’ve been through in the last few years,” Rice said. “I’ve hit the ground a number of times. I have quite a few injuries. It’s something I’ve always battled through and came back from. But I just figure at this point I have the rest of my life ahead of me and I want to be able to function and do things later down the road.”

Rice’s best season came in 2009, when he was with the Minnesota Vikings and he caught 83 passes from Brett Favre for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns. Rice played in 33 games for Seattle, but missed most of the Super Bowl season after tearing his ACL on Oct. 28. In addition, he showed concussion symptoms after the game. He was released by the team on Feb. 28, but resigned a one-year deal in April.

Rice moves on now to his business interests, which include running Wingstop restaurants.

“I’m sort of a job creator right now,” he said. “What got me into the wings? It’s my favorite food. In Minnesota there was no Wingstop. So me and Adrian Peterson, every time we’d have an away game, we’d hop in the car and try to find a Wingstop. So we always talked about opening one.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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