Tight end Jake Ballard, who started 13 regular-season games and three postseason games for the 2011 Giants, has retired from the NFL. Ballard tore an ACL during New York’s Super Bowl XLVI win over the Patriots.
“Yesterday I made the difficult decision to retire from the game of football,” Ballard said in a statement. “I love this game and have put my heart and soul into it for as long as I can remember. After sustaining a serious knee injury while playing for the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, my body never felt the same. Having a quality of life after football is very important to me and I have witnessed it taken away from others. I will miss the game tremendously, but I am ready for this next chapter in my life. It was an honor and a privilege to play for the NY Giants, New England Patriots, and most recently the Arizona Cardinals. I met amazing people from all of my teammates, to opponents, to trainers, to coaches, to owners, and everyone in between. I thank you for allowing me to be a part of your fraternity and I wish you all nothing but success.”
In 2012, the Giants waived Ballard, hoping to slide him through to injured reserve. The Patriots claimed Ballard on waivers.
The Patriots eventually released Ballard, and he appeared in eight games for the Cardinals last season, with three starts.