Plaxico Burress faces potential career-ending surgery

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Plaxico Burress' career appears to be over after he underwent season-ending rotator cuff surgery.

Update: The Steelers officially placed Plaxico Burress on Injured Reserve on Tuesday.

The NFL career of Plaxico Burress could be over after the 36-year-old Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver underwent season-ending rotator cuff surgery, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

More than 13 years removed from his entry into the league as a first-round selection in the 2000 NFL Draft, only five active players have caught more touchdown passes in their careers than Burress and only 12 have more career receiving yards.

Regardless, Burress' NFL career will likely be best remembered for his mishaps off the gridiron.

After a pair of dominant seasons with the Michigan State Spartans, the Steelers selected Burress with the eighth-overall selection in the 2000 NFL Draft, four picks after the Cincinnati Bengals chose wide receiver Peter Warrick with the fourth-overall selection.

Burress started slow with just 22 receptions as a rookie, but quickly became a force in the Pittsburgh offense, accumulating more than 1,000 receiving yards in both the 2001 and 2002 seasons. However, his best NFL seasons came after he joined the New York Giants on a six-year, $25 million deal.

With the Giants, Burress accumulated 3,227 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns in his first three seasons with the team. No contribution to the team was more important, though, than a 13-yard game-winning touchdown pass from Eli Manning with less than a minute remaining in Super Bowl XLII to defeat the New England Patriots.

The reception proved to be the pinnacle of his NFL career as he managed to fall out of favor with the Giants in the following season, which included a one-game suspension for violation of team rules. Shortly after earning several fines from the NFL, the most famous off-field event of his career occurred, ending his time with team.

Burress suffered an accidental self-inflicted gun wound in the right thigh at New York City nightclub LQ on Nov. 28, 2008, and was later sentenced to two years in prison after accepting a plea deal following charges of two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and a count of reckless endangerment.

When Burress returned to the field in 2011, the best of his playing days were behind him, although he managed to tally eight receptions with the New York Jets.

Despite never making the Pro Bowl, Burress' career will presumably end with some of the best statistics of the receivers of his era. A 6'5, 226-pound receiver, Burress made a living preying on defensive backs in the red zone and accumulating touchdowns.

A living that appears to have to come to an end after 11 NFL seasons with shoulder surgery earlier this week.

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