Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster surprised everybody Monday night when he announced his retirement from the NFL, through UNINTERRUPTED.
“There comes a time in every athlete’s career when their ambition and their body are no longer on the same page. I’ve reached that point,” Foster wrote in a letter explaining his decision to hang it up at age 30.
“It’s hard to write those words because this game has been everything to me … my therapy, my joy, my solace and my enemy.”
In four games this season, Foster started two of them. He rushed for just 55 yards on 22 carries. It was his first year in Miami after spending the majority of his career in Houston.
Foster was signed by the Texans as an undrafted free agent in May of 2009. The Texans released him just four months later, but signed him back to the practice squad. He made his NFL debut against the Titans in November of 2009.
After playing in just six games in 2009, Foster had a breakout season in 2010. He replaced an injured Steve Slaton in Week 1 and rushed for a league-leading 1,616 yards that season, leading to his first Pro Bowl. He went on to make four Pro Bowls overall.
Yet injuries became an unfortunate theme in his career. In 2011, Foster strained his hamstring twice during the season, missing three games. He bounced back in 2012 to play all 16, but missed eight games in 2013 because of a lingering back injury that led to surgery on a bulging disk.
In 2015, Foster ruptured his Achilles tendon and was placed on injured reserve two days later, ending his season and career with the Texans. The team he ruptured it against, the Dolphins, ended up being the team that signed him in the offseason.
Recently, Foster had taken a back seat in the Dolphins’ backfield to Jay Ajayi, who has rushed for over 200 yards each of the past two weeks. Foster has also been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury over the course of the season.
“My father always said, ‘You’ll know when it’s time to walk away,’” Foster wrote. “It has never been more clear than right now.”
"Every athlete would love to go out as a Super Bowl MVP, riding off into the sunset with the crowd cheering their name,” Foster added. “Unfortunately, life has other plans and they’re usually opposite the imagination. But that imagination got me this far and I could not be prouder of the things my teammates and I accomplished in this game."