San Francisco 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore is retiring after failing to see the field following a devastating knee injury in his last college game at South Carolina back in 2012.
Lattimore had this to say in a press release on the 49ers official website.
After prayer and careful consideration, I have decided it’s time to end my professional football career,” said Lattimore. “I have given my heart and soul to the game that I love, and it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life and help others. I have given every ounce of my energy toward making a full recovery from my knee injury, and I have made a lot of progress. Unfortunately, getting my knee fully back to the level the NFL demands has proven to be insurmountable.
“I am grateful for the entire 49ers organization. Their decision to draft me was the realization of a lifelong dream to be an NFL player, and I cannot thank them enough for believing in me and for doing everything in their power to assist in my recovery. I will always be a 49er!
Leading up to the 2012 season, Lattimore was seen as one of the top running back prospects in recent history. And while there were some red flags heading into that season due to a torn ACL he suffered earlier in his college career, the running back showed everyone why he was considered a generational talent.
Unfortunately, Lattimore suffered a gruesome injury against Tennessee that season. This led to a long rehabilitation process for the running back. He was eventually selected in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft by the 49ers, but sat out his entire rookie season rehabbing the knee injury.
There was renewed hope entering this year that Lattimore would be able to return to the field. That’s obviously no longer the case, as Lattimore has called it quits.
49ers general manager Trent Baalke had this to say about Lattimore.
This was a very difficult decision for Marcus and it was clear after speaking with him that he had put a lot of thought into it,” said 49ers general manager Trent Baalke. “He is a high-character young man who has done everything asked of him and more during his time with us and we have a great deal of respect for the strength and commitment he showed throughout the rehab process.
It has been a pleasure to have Marcus as a member of our team and our community and we are confident that he will be very successful in whichever path he chooses to take in life. We look forward to supporting Marcus and wish him nothing but the best.
The 49ers were preparing for this news over the past week. Lattimore was away from the team last Sunday when it took on the St. Louis Rams and head coach Jim Harbaugh indicated an announcement would come at some point this week. San Francisco also signed currently injured running back Kendall Hunter to a one-year extension, which was an indication it knew that Lattimore’s decision was ultimately going to be to retire.