Former Detroit Lions TE Michael Roberts retires after multiple injuries, surgeries

Detroit Free Press

Former Detroit Lions tight end Michael Roberts announced on social media on Sunday that he is done with his professional football career. 

The 26-year-old Roberts wrote that he’s walking away “from a sport that SAVED MY LIFE!”

But the injuries have been too much to bear for Roberts, who said he has had three surgeries over the last two years. 

“It’s hard to smile some days because I feel have no control over my athletic future. I’ve been fighting depression and high anxiety for a while now and it’s only worsened since being tossed around this league,” Roberts said. 

“And most days I feel empty.”

When the 6-foot-5, 265-pound Roberts was drafted by the Lions in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL draft, he was a project out of Toledo, thought to be a solid blocker with room to grow as a receiver. 

That potential was never realized, struggled as a rookie, playing in just eight games and catching nine passes for 100 yards and three touchdowns. He was suspended for the final game of the 2017 season for oversleeping and missing Saturday’s walk through. 

The next season brought a new head coach to Detroit, but in 15 games, he had only four catches for 46 yards and had shoulder surgery late that season.

The Lions tried to trade Roberts to the Patriots for a future draft pick before last season, but New England voided the trade. He was later waived.

“This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life,” Roberts said. “But I feel like I need to walk away at this point to SAVE MY LIFE!”

Contact Kirkland Crawford: kcrawford@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @HiKirkHere.

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