Now that the veteran guard’s season is over, is it time to hang them up?
The Detroit Lions placed T.J. Lang on injured reserve late Wednesday afternoon. The move unceremoniously ended Lang’s 2018 season after only being able to play one complete game.
It’s been a rough go for Lang ever since he signed with the team back in 2017. Though he played in 13 games last year, he was coming off hip surgery, suffered an in-season Concussion, and had to play through a back and foot injury midseason.
This year was even worse. He only played in 100 percent of snaps in a single game, having to leave games early due to a concussion, neck, back and hip injury. Perhaps scariest was the concussion in Dallas that left Lang on the field for several minutes looking disoriented.
At the time, Lang was questioned by reporters if retirement was on the table following the serious injury. Lang told reporters that he visited multiple specialists and they mostly agreed that there was no long-term concerns returning to play once healthy.
“A few of them had different opinions, but for the most part it was, ‘I think you’ll be fine to play. I don’t think there’ll be ramifications further down the line if you continue to play,’” Lang said. “There were some tough conversations, for sure, but it is what it is.”
Now after suffering a season-ending neck injury and potentially becoming a cap casualty next year, the question has to be asked:
Is it time for T.J. Lang to retire?
My answer: This is a really tough question for me to answer for a couple of reasons. First, I am no doctor and I have no idea how serious his injuries are or how he’s currently feeling. Secondly, the only person who really knows if it’s the right time to retire is Lang and his family.
That being said, when Lang told reporters that he saw multiple neurologists and specialist following the concussion, he brought his wife who he said was “worried” about the repeated head injuries. If your family is that concerned about your health and the injuries keep mounting, you have to consider their feelings and anxieties along, obviously, with your own well-being.
I’m not going to sit here and tell Lang what he should or shouldn’t do, but this certainly seems like an appropriate time to hang up the cleats. I just hope he makes the right decision for him and his family.