New England Patriots wide receiver Jalen Hurd announced his retirement Tuesday after sustaining an injury in training camp. The 27-year-old former star at the University of Tennessee and Baylor University was attempting to make a comeback in New England after three injury-ridden seasons with the 49ers.

Interest in Hurd entering the 2019 NFL Draft was high, as the former Volunteer and 2016 Outback Bowl MVP switched from running back to wide receiver at Baylor and caught 69 passes for 946 yards and four touchdowns.

Hurd was also named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year that season. Hurd’s transfer from Tennessee was one of the final sources of motivation for the university to fire head coach Butch Jones, as many fans and officials concluded that the team’s most talented players had little faith in the program. Though he was injured for Baylor’s bowl game in 2019, the 49ers selected him in the third round with the 67th overall pick.

In each of his first three seasons in the NFL, he suffered a season-ending injury. He never played in a regular season game, and after sitting out for the 2022 season, he signed with New England on July 27 in the hopes of finally making his debut. That will no longer occur.


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Hurd was a long shot to make the Patriots’ regular season roster because of his injury history and time away from the league. Even with a thin list of reserves behind JuJu Smitch-Schuster and DeVante Parker, it would have been difficult for Hurd to make the cut. He sustained his injury shortly after catching a touchdown pass from New England backup quarterback Bailey Zappe.

Hurd joins running back Sony Michel, fullback Monte Pottebaum and defensive end Jabari Zuniga in retirement. All three made the announcement shortly into training camp; Pottebaum would have been a rookie in 2023 and might have started at fullback for the Steelers. Michel, a Super Bowl winner for the Rams, did not explain his decision to walk away at age 28.

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