When Patriots’ James White Realized Football Career Was Over

'I just had to make the best decision for myself, my family'


Aug 16, 2022

As former New England Patriots running back James White geared up for training camp, his body wasn’t responding as he had hoped.

White missed all but three games last season due to a hip injury, which proved to cause even more than just a lost season for the 30-year-old running back.

White officially announced his retirement from the NFL last Friday, but it was before then that the three-time Super Bowl champion realized his career was coming to a close due to the devastating injury.

“I’d probably say a couple weeks before training camp,” White told reporters during his retirement ceremony at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday. “I feel like I hit a plateau where this is just what my body is going to feel like from here on out from playing football. Do I think I could have went out there and played? Probably. I don’t know how good I would have looked.

“And I don’t want to put the team in a position as well for them to be expecting a certain type of player, a certain type of guy they’re used to seeing, and for me to go out there and not to be that guy, that’d be hard for me, I know it would be hard for them to see.”

But for White, his ailing hip wasn’t the only factor he considered when he decided to retire.

“I just had to make the best decision for myself, my family,” White said. “I think a lot of things weighed into my decision, not just my hip. Having a two and a one-year-old, as you can see how wild it can be at times, just to be able to assist my wife at home now and give her the support she needs and allow her to chase some of her dreams as well, that was kind of in my decision.”

Over eight seasons with the Patriots, White developed into an integral piece with the Patriots. He made 381 receptions for 3,278 yards and 25 touchdowns while also running for 1,278 yards and 11 scores in his career.

White will also fondly be remembered for his incredible performance in New England’s comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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