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Neck surgery may end career of Chris Hoke

Chris Hoke AP

The Steelers haven’t had the services of defensive tackle Chris Hoke for more than a month.

They won’t have him for the rest of the season following neck surgery, and Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Hoke’s career could be over.

The undrafted 35-year-old has played in Pittsburgh since 2001, usually as a reserve. He started two games this year in place of Casey Hampton.

With Aaron Smith’s future also up in the air, Pittsburgh’s defensive line will look a lot different next season.

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19 Responses to “Neck surgery may end career of Chris Hoke”
  1. turdfurgerson68 says: Dec 6, 2011 12:09 PM

    Neck injury?!?

    Don’t be stupid Chris, retire ASAP. You’ve had a long career for an undrafted player. Time to enjoy your life without risking being in a wheelchair.

  2. steelbydesign says: Dec 6, 2011 12:13 PM

    I’m sure a lot of people outside Pittsburgh have no idea who Hoke is but he’s definitely been a “glue” guy in Pittsburgh for years. Always been a solid rotational guy and played extremely well in spot duty for Casey Hampton over the years.

    Steeler nation will miss you Hokey, get better and good luck in your post-football life.

  3. steelhammer92 says: Dec 6, 2011 12:17 PM

    Hoke was good enough to start on quite a few teams. He just happened to play behind one of the best 3-4 DTs ever his whole career.

  4. toegoat says: Dec 6, 2011 12:18 PM

    This sucks because he is a solid backup and gives us depth, plus its hard to find big body guys that WANT to play NT in our 3-4 because there is no glory in it.
    Hoke never was a stud or a stand out but always brought his lunch pail to practice and games. Thanks for everything, Hokey, best of luck to ya with your injury and after football career.

  5. Stiller43 says: Dec 6, 2011 12:23 PM

    Hokes a career backup and a smith essentially hasnt played in 3 years.

    Youth movement in the burgh!

  6. Mike Tomlin says: Dec 6, 2011 12:36 PM

    Hoke has done a great job filling in for Big Snack over the years. I wish him the best in his recovery.

    The Steelers have quietly done a lot over the past several offseasons to address the “old slow and done” label. Hood has become a solid starter, Heyward has already shown why they drafted him with a first pick and McClendon has played fantastic in place of Hampton and Hoke when they cant play. Steelers have been building their DL for a while now so Smith and Hoke being done doesn’t hurt a whole lot.

    I think its time this draft to address James Farriors decline. I know they spend one pick per draft on a project OLB, but its time to draft a true ILB to replace Farrior in the coming years. Luke Kuechly or that maniac Vontaze Burfict would look fantastic in black and gold!

  7. 3yardsndust says: Dec 6, 2011 12:44 PM

    Good luck, Chris!

  8. pistolsmoke says: Dec 6, 2011 12:49 PM

    I had neck surgery and I’m 29. All I can say is his career is over.

  9. jimmysee says: Dec 6, 2011 12:52 PM

    We hate to see this — God bless and take care of your health first.

  10. cmutimmah says: Dec 6, 2011 12:56 PM

    Lions will give you LoJack for Antonio Brown…

    We could use a returner and #2 receiver that doesn’t take 3 PIs a game and knows where to line up and doesn’t take shots at other players after the play…

    I wish we would have grabbed Brown all along.. playing at CMU, he was a stud, not sure how the ‘home town’ team passed on him.

  11. bray72 says: Dec 6, 2011 1:09 PM

    All of us Steeler fans know his value. He will be missed on the field and in the locker room.

    Agree with @ Mile Tomlin above that the Steelers have been quietly restocking every year. with McLendon coming on fast and Ziggy and Cam ready to step in, the death of the “aged” Steeler defense is silly.

    Perhaps some of the less informed pundits should do a little more study instead of confirming their ineptness.

  12. mrpkg says: Dec 6, 2011 1:25 PM

    This guy has been a class act for the 11 years he has been with the Steelers. He will be missed.

  13. jgrange08 says: Dec 6, 2011 1:26 PM

    I’ve had the honor to meet him, and like I said, it was an honor. Just a very humble, good guy through and through. Sad his career is over, but wish him the best.

  14. bspn2 says: Dec 6, 2011 1:50 PM

    If his career is in fact over, it’d be nice to see Hoke become a D-line coach/assistant coach for the Steelers.

  15. vincentbojackson says: Dec 6, 2011 1:53 PM

    Nobody finds gold in the undrafted free agent pile like the Steelers. There was zero drop off anytime Hoke stepped in.

  16. shootahcowboy says: Dec 6, 2011 2:50 PM

    That’s a shame to see that happen to anyone. All the best Chris…

  17. Deb says: Dec 6, 2011 3:02 PM

    We Steelers fans know Chris Hoke, and we love him. Best of luck with your surgery, Chris. I pray all goes well for you!! Echoing bspn2′s comment that if your playing career is over, it would be great to see you as a Steelers coaching assistant.

  18. nickster31 says: Dec 6, 2011 3:42 PM

    To Hoke – God bless you, and best of luck to you in your recovery. PLEASE don’t be a Peyton Manning and think this is something you can simply get over. There is NOTHING more important than being able to one day hold your grand children. It has been a blessing having you as a member of the Black and Gold. You will always be a member of Steelers Nation!

  19. steelersownyou says: Dec 6, 2011 3:42 PM

    Much like all great stories this too has come to an end. What a great find hokey was! You will be missed. Hopefully he’ll stay close with the steelers or maybe even have him do a sports show on radio…hokey pokey sports talk!

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