The Las Vegas Raiders and their offensive line were struck a blow when offensive guard Denzelle Good surprisingly retired in the middle of training camp. The veteran suffered a torn ACL in Week 1 of last year, which caused him to miss 16 games. His recovery appeared to be going well as he was cleared for training camp.
However, something changed for the 31-year-old as his retirement came out of nowhere. There was no initial explanation for Good’s decision but after letting the news marinate for a day, the veteran took to Twitter to address the news:
Thank you for all you guys support, it means a lot to see the love from y’all. This was one of the most difficult decisions in my life to make and I make it wholeheartedly. I need this time to focus on things football, unfortunately, wont allow me to.
I still love this Game and feel like I have plenty left in me, but I just have to shift my time and focus on my family for the time being. Thank you to the Raiders organization, my Brothers, and the Coaching staff for the support and understanding.
Based on Good’s statement, it appears that there is more to his retirement than just recovery issues stemming from last year’s injury.
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Will Good Return to the NFL?
The most notable comments from Good’s statement are him saying that he still loves football and has “plenty left in me.” That doesn’t sound like a player who has totally closed the door on a possible return. Right now, football isn’t the most important thing to Good. He decided to remove himself from the game instead of having to split his focus.
It’s very possible that Good eyes an NFL return in the future. He’s only 31 and should at least have a few more years of ability to play. He’s a solid and versatile veteran that most teams in the league would like to have. The Raiders hold his rights as he was under contract but they’ll likely always have a need for a player like him. If not, it’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t let him seek employment elsewhere if he does decide to return.
Raiders OL Trying to Keep the Intensity Up
Losing Good is a blow to the Raiders offensive line as he was expected to start. Regardless, the team will now have to adapt. Good was one of the veterans of the group so now some younger players will need to step up. Brandon Parker has now spent four years in the league and he’s stepping up into a leadership role.
“I try to keep us going during those dog days of camp. We feel the 100-plus heat – we all do,” Parker told the media recently. “I try to keep us positive. A lot of the guys look up to me, so I try to always be – somebody’s got to be the uplifting guy so I try to be that. Even when I’m not having my best day. I might take an ‘L’ here or there, but I try to always throw it behind me. … Just trying to be that leader we need in our room.”