DeVonte Holloman, linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys has been told by doctors that he will have to retire from the NFL after suffering a career-ending neck injury.
According to a source close to the situation, the team doctors advice was the second opinion Holloman had received on his neck injury but the 23-year-old will look for a third opinion on whether he can continue his football career.
The linebacker has been told that his injury is serious enough to threaten his personal health outside of football and has been advised to retire from the NFL.
Holloman missed seven games as a rookie whilst part of the Dallas Cowboys, his bruised spinal cord kept him out most of the season but he returned to start the final two games of the 2013/14 campaign.
He also shone brightly in the season finale against the division rival Philadelphia Eagles, despite the 24-22 loss on December 29, Holloman registered 11 tackles and 2 sacks in the contest.
Holloman had worked relentlessly over the off-season in workouts to try and recapture the health he felt before the injury and even commented that he believed he had learned to correctly tackle once again.
Jason Garrett's thoughts
The linebacker was unable to finish the pre-season match against the Baltimore Ravens amidst worries that the injury was still restraining his play, Head Coach Jason Garrett explained that the neck was continuing to borrow Holloman.
Garrett said: "I don't want to get into anything medical about it, I don't know that much about it and there's a lot of very specific things regarding that. But it has to do with his neck and he had that injury last year and he dealt with it again this year. It's a very challenging, difficult thing for a young man who has dreams of being an NFL football player, achieves those dreams."
He continued: "I told him this morning, 'You're a 10-year player in my mind. You're going to play for a long, long time.' Just has everything that you want. Took advantage of his opportunity here last year whenever we gave it to him. And he has physical ability, he's tough, he's got instincts and feel for the game. But this becomes an easy decision for him and for his family when you're dealing with that kind of injury."
The Cowboys had recently suffered a devastating setback on defence when Sean Lee, star linebacker was lost for the season with a knee injury.
Holloman would have had a chance to solidify a position on the Dallas defensive side but the injury sustained is too risky to his overall health and unfortunately for the 23-year-old it seem as though retirement may be on the horizon.