Plaxico Burress was back with the Pittsburgh Steelers this spring, happy to have a full offseason with a team for the first time since 2008.
Privately, Burress said this season would be his last no matter what happened on the field.
This season is likely already over for Burress. A source told FOX Sports the former New York Giants and Jets wide receiver is believed to have suffered a torn rotator cuff in practice on Thursday.
Burress will have surgery on Monday to repair an injury in his right shoulder and is out indefinitely, according to the Associated Press.
Coach Mike Tomlin called the damage to Burress’ shoulder "significant" but declined to specify the exact nature of the injury.
Burress landed awkwardly while trying to haul in a pass over cornerback Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith near the end of Thursday’s practice at Saint Vincent College. The 35-year-old Burress remained bent over on the ground for several moments before getting up and walking to the sideline. He was carted off the field and sported a sling over his right shoulder late Thursday evening.
The Steelers, who open the preseason on Saturday night against the New York Giants, had hoped Burress would become the big red zone target they need while tight end Heath Miller recovers from knee surgery.
It’s unclear if Burress, who turns 36 next week, will change his mind about his future after this injury or whether he will continue with his plans to retire.
Burress’ once-fruitful career was sidetracked in 2008 when he accidentally shot himself in the leg in a Manhattan night club. Burress went to prison and didn’t return to the NFL until he signed a one-year deal with the Jets after the lockout in 2011. Burress’ stint with the Jets was very forgettable.
Burress was out of football last year until November, when he rejoined the Steelers, who had drafted him in 2000 and then let him leave as a free agent five years later. Burress had three catches and one touchdown in three games with Pittsburgh last season. He was battling Jerricho Cotchery, David Gilreath and rookies Markus Wheaton and Justin Brown for a spot behind starters Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.
Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.