NFL player gets hurt, decides to lose 85 pounds in 5 months and retire at age 33

San Diego Chargers offensive lineman Nick Hardwick retired on Tuesday after a 10-year career with the team.

To give you an idea of how highly the Chargers thought of him, both quarterback Phillip Rivers and coach Mike McCoy broke down crying at the press conference announcing his retirement.

While Hardwick didn’t make the announcement until after the Super Bowl, it has been an open secret since he went down with a neck injury in Week 1. He even got a jump-start on his post-football life by quietly losing 85 pounds over the course of the season.

“It’s obvious when I was losing weight that this is where things were headed,” he said.

He came into the season weighing 293 pounds and now he’s down to 208, according to Michael Gehlken of the Union-Tribune.

He spent the last 10 years of his life as a 300-pound offensive lineman:

 

He showed up to his press conference like this:

As offensive linemen have gotten bigger and bigger, we’ve seen an increasing number of guys like Hardwick slimming down to a healthier weight post-retirement. Most recently, Jordan Gross of the Panthers lost more than 50 pounds after his retirement in 2014.

Hardwick’s three year, $US13.5 million contract ended after the 2014 season. At age 33, he’s done with football.

That’s Hardwick on the left in 2012:

Here he is in 2015:

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