Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Jack Mewhort played just four NFL seasons. Not all that long ago, it seemed like he had elite-offensive-lineman-caliber talent and upside. Injuries (specifically to his knees), however, were a major factor in Mewhort’s decision to no longer pursue a career playing pro football.
In each of the past two seasons, Mewhort ended up on season-ending injured reserve.
The injury problems are a bit of a recent trend with the 26-year-old. As a senior in 2013 at Ohio St., Jack Mewhort was named to ESPN’s All-American squad. After going 59th overall (second round) in the 2014 NFL Draft, the 6’6″, 305-pound Mewhort appeared in 14 games as a rookie, then all 16 regular season games in 2015.
The retiring lineman put out a statement through the Colts organization that read:
“I would like to thank the Irsay family and the entire Colts organization for giving me the opportunity to live a childhood dream. The fans and the city of Indianapolis have treated me like one of their own, and I am forever grateful. Wearing the Horseshoe was one of the biggest honors I have ever known, and I will always bleed blue.”
The game of football has certainly been unkind to certain players. Knees, arms, and leg injuries that once ended careers now can be corrected with surgery and rehab.
Sorry you feel that way. If you have any spare knee cartilage or a triceps tendon lying around anywhere you should let me have ‘em and I’ll give it another go!
— Jack Mewhort (@jackmewhort) August 1, 2018
It feels like the more modern day players watch the NFL generation before them age, the more players factor in the quality of life beyond football into their decisions. Players like Patrick Willis and Chris Borland (both of whom played for the San Francisco 49ers) were very productive for a short time before deciding to look outside of football. In most cases, it’s hard to blame them.