Lofa Tatupu insists last year’s absence wasn’t injury related

AP

When a player with the credentials of Lofa Tatupu was out of the league for year, there was a wide-held assumption that it was because of injuries.

He denies that, saying it wasn’t concussions or knee problems or anything else that kept him out, after he refused a pay cut and was released by the Seahawks (and his old college coach Pete Carroll).

It wasn’t my choice,” Tatupu said of his absence, via Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe. “It wasn’t anything to do with concussions or lingering injuries. I was ready to play last season.

“I got released, like a lot of people did, and I just didn’t catch on with anybody.”

He admitted he nearly gave up the attempt to come back.

“At a certain point, I just stopped working out,’’ Tatupu said. ‘‘I thought it was over. I was really ready to send those [retirement] papers in.’’

Now he’s in Atlanta, competing for a starting job with Akeem Dent. It’s a strange situation to be in, considering he’s a former All-Pro and Pro Bowler.

If he’s truly well, it’s a competition he has an excellent chance to win. But with what he’s gone through in recent years, proving that will be tougher than supplanting Dent, a 2011 third-rounder.