The San Francisco 49ers' 2014 NFL season has not gone exactly to plan so far with the team having failed to meet pre-season's high expectations so far with just a 4-4 record going into week 10.
And today brought more bad, and sad, news for the California franchise with running back Marcus Lattimore announcing his retirement from the game due to a persistent knee injury.
The former South Carolina Gamecocks RB joined the franchise as a highly rated prospect in the 2013 draft but never took to the gridiron in the NFL due to a knee injury suffered during his college playing days. The 23-year-old tore every ligament in his right knee as well as dislocating his knee cap.
There had been high hopes that Lattimore would make his debut for the 49ers this season having spent the entirety of 2013 on the non-football injury list recuperating but the player's message on the 49ers official website confirmed the ultimate set back.
"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."
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Lattimore confirmed the unfortunate decision with an open letter which began:
“After prayer and careful consideration, I have decided it’s time to end my professional football career.”
“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."
You can read the entire message via this link.
The player goes on to thank both the 49ers organization and the University of South Carolina for their support during the past two years before confirming that he plans to return to the college to complete his degree - continuing his work with the Marcus Lattimore Foundation/DREAMS.
As for the San Francisco 49ers they are left without a promising talent who some had predicted would ultimately get the chance to replace veteran RB Frank Gore in the future. However, with the injury hampering the player for such a long period today's announcement will not come as a major shock to those within the organization.
Lattimore amassed 41 touchdowns and 2677 yards in his three years with the Gamecocks.