Former Steelers RB Isaac Redman Forced to Retire Due to Neck Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2014

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23:  Isaac Redman #33 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts during their game against the New York Jets in the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Isaac Redman was forced to turn away NFL teams during the offseason after suffering a neck injury last year that caused career-ending damage to his spinal cord.

Redman, 29, posted a message on his official Twitter page to let fans know why he didn't latch on with another team during the offseason. After not feeling like himself, he decided to get checked out, which is when the issue was discovered:

An undrafted free agent out of Division II Bowie State, Redman was able to earn an opportunity with the Steelers and developed into a reliable part of the team's backfield.

He ended up playing in 49 games over four seasons in Pittsburgh, per ESPN. He'll finish his career with 282 rushing attempts for 1,148 yards and five touchdowns while adding 50 catches for 408 yards and two touchdowns in the passing game.

Redman played in just three games for the Steelers last season before eventually being released. Even though his production had dropped off, it was a surprise no other team awarded him at least an opportunity. Now the reason is clearer.

Unfortunately, he becomes the second player in as many days to walk away from the sport due to injury. On Thursday, it was revealed Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeVonte Holloman was being forced to retire due to a neck issue, per Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

New York Giants running back David Wilson, only 23 years old, announced earlier this month that he, too, would be leaving the game.

Perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that more early retirements are occurring as player safety remains firmly in the spotlight. That doesn't make it any less disappointing for the players who should have had more productive seasons ahead.

Redman could have still provided value as a reserve running back somewhere if he had returned to 100 percent. That said, long-term health always comes first, and if doctors say it's time to call it quits, players are wise to listen.