CB C.J. Wilson to Retire After Losing Fingers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback C.J. Wilson is walking away from the NFL for the time being following a fireworks accident July 4.

The Buccaneers provided a statement from GM Jason Licht:

“We know this process has been difficult for C.J. and respect his decision to step away from football,” Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht said. “We are grateful for the contributions he has made to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and wish him the best as he focuses on his health and recovery.”

As well as a statement from Wilson’s agents:

“On behalf of C.J. Wilson, he has decided to step away from the NFL at this time to focus on his immediate needs in recovery which are the foundation of his long-term health. When C.J. is fully healed and able to return to the game, he will then continue his career at that time. We would like to send out our sincere appreciation to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization, especially the Glazer family, Coach Lovie Smith, GM Jason Licht and so many others who’ve provided support and encouragement these last few weeks along with their continued efforts to assist C.J. in his recovery. C.J. is in good spirits and is continuing to focus on his rehab and the healing of his hand. Thanks to so many people who have sent calls and messages of concern for him. He is a very strong willed young man with great work ethic and character. We look forward to seeing him play again in the future.”

However, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times noted Wilson hopes to return to the NFL once his hand heals.

The 25-year-old Wilson was an undrafted player out of North Carolina State. He spent 2013 with the Chicago Bears and last year with the Buccaneers, appearing in a total of four games and recording five tackles.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported July 8 that Wilson’s hand injury was “very serious” and that the fireworks accident put his “career in jeopardy.”

After word of Wilson’s injury became public, the Buccaneers released a statement saying they were “continuing to monitor the situation,” per ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan.

Wilson was one of two NFL players to suffer hand injuries due to fireworks-related accidents over the holiday weekend. New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul reportedly had his right index finger amputated as a result of his accident, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Even though Wilson’s career has been put in jeopardy as a result of the accident, he’s taking steps to ensure his long-term health is a priority.

Source: MSN Sports

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