Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller announced Tuesday he’s retiring from football more than a year after suffering a gruesome injury in which he nearly lost his leg.
Miller suffered the injury in October 2017 during a game against the New Orleans Saints. He required vascular surgery to repair a damaged artery as a result of the injury, according to ESPN. The surgery reportedly required grafting tissue from his right leg to repair the damaged artery in his left leg.
Two months later, Miller was seen in an Instagram video slowly taking steps without the assistance of crutches. He told reporters at the time he needed eight surgeries on his leg.
Miller didn’t play in 2018.
“The time has come to move on from playing the game of football. It has been an incredible journey for myself and my entire family and we can’t thank you enough for your continued support,” Miller said in a statement posted on the Bears’ team website. “I would love nothing more than to step onto Soldier Field one last time, but physically I cannot give the game and our fans what they deserve. It’s difficult to find the words to express my love and gratitude to every single person that has cheered my name, lifted me up and stood strong with me throughout my career. I am forever grateful”
Miller played seven years in the NFL between the Bears and the Jacksonville Jaguars. He caught 146 passes for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns.