Helena, Mont. — Detroit Lions tight end Casey FitzSimmons announced his retirement Wednesday from the NFL due to several concussions, including one in December that is still causing him ill effects.
“This has been a very difficult decision,” FitzSimmons said in a statement released by his agent. “I feel like 2009 was one of the best seasons of my career, because I was so consistent, and was able to contribute in a variety of ways. If it wasn’t for the concussions, I would not be retiring.
“It’s frustrating because the rest of my body is still capable of playing at a high level in the NFL,” he said. “However, given the seriousness of the risk associated with continuing to play, I have to listen to the advice the team has given me.”
FitzSimmons has sustained several concussions during his seven-year career, including one on Dec. 6 against the Cincinnati Bengals that caused him to end the 2009 season on the injured reserve list.
Following an evaluation by team doctors, FitzSimmons was advised by the Lions to retire.
FitzSimmons, 29, is still feeling the effects of his latest concussion, said Chris Gittings, who along with Dan Hoeven is FitzSimmons’ agent. They declined to say what symptoms Fitzsimmons is experiencing.
FitzSimmons entered the NFL in April 2003 as an undrafted free agent after earning NAIA All-America honors at Carroll College in Helena.
Fitzsimmons started 11 games as a rookie and played a total of 99 career games in the NFL. FitzSimmons had 88 catches for 677 yards and five touchdowns and in the past three seasons returned seven kickoffs for 113 yards and a score.
FitzSimmons and his wife, Allison, had a daughter in February. They have a ranch near Helena.