Giants defensive end Justin Tuck told the New York Post that he thought about retiring last season.
“The Giants defensive captain revealed to The Post exclusively Tuesday that at the depth of his mental/emotional despair, at a time when donning his No. 91 with only one good shoulder at his disposal wracked him with a sense of guilt he wasn’t helping his Giants, he contemplated retirement,” the Post reported.
“After the hardships of last year, I did some soul-searching, and really had to ask myself if this is what I want,” Tuck said. “Obviously, I’m back, and I just feel kind of refreshed mentally. I think a lot of things were weighing on me last year where I couldn’t necessarily be my normal self on and off the football field. I’ve kind of put those things in the past now and moved forward.”
Tuck explained what was specifically bothering him.
“A lot of things. Injuries, and family issues [he lost his grandfather in August and his uncle in September] … things of that nature,” he said.
Tuck was asked if he really thought about walking away.
“Sure. Definitely did. I contemplated it,” the defensive end said. “But, I think that was just me feeling sorry for myself for a little bit there.”
Tuck explained what kept him from calling it quits.
“Honestly, just consulted a lot of my family and closest friends, and just realizing this is what I love to do, and I’m not ready to give it up regardless of the hardships,” Tuck said. “I think for a little while, like I said, I felt sorry for myself because of the fact that I’m sitting here saying like, ‘Why is all this happening to me?’ I don’t think I was thinking clearly. After winning the Super Bowl, getting away from football for a while allowed me just to think clearly.”
Tuck’s teammates knew his body was hurting.
“I couldn’t lift it before a lot of games,” Tuck said. “It gets tiring after a while.”