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Did not retire today but said neck injury too much to risk
Thursday, August 9, 2007
As first reported by WDAE'S Steve Duemig, Mike Alstott did not retire today, but has been placed on Injured Reserve and indeed could be finished with his playing career.

The returned effects of a previous neck injury were the reason for the move. WDAE is currently airing Alstott's press conference.

While Alstott is not retiring, his words and emotions made it clear that he may not be able to risk suiting up again. He began to choke up after being introduced by General Manager Bruce Allen and again he began to explain he would be unable to suit up this year.

"I was ready to play football this year. Camp was great, I was doing well. But some things in life don't allow you to do things sometimes," Alstott said. "You don't mess with the neck."

The decision was made after numerous consultations with Alstott, the team, his family and his personal surgeon. Alstott had neck surgery in 2003. He would have been playing his 12th year in a Buc uniform.

He said that he began to feel general soreness this camp, but as the soreness began to fade it remained in the neck.

A future examination will likely determine if Alstott must call it a career. He often used phrases such as "for now" to describe his injury status, keeping the door open for a return to playing. Being placed on Injured Reserve ends Alstott's 2007 season.

Alstott will still be a part of the team, Allen said. Alstott said his role would be to do whatever he could do to help his teammates.

"It's hard to swallow as a competitive athlete, as a football player," Alstott said. "There's nothing more you want to do than to go out there and lead, to compete... but that's not possible this year."

Head coach Jon Gruden spoke with Alstott, who said the Bucs head coach told him "this is your team, and you're going to be a part of this, maybe not the way you want to be but we're gonna get through this together."

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