Neck surgery may end career of Chris Hoke


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.

19 responses to “Neck surgery may end career of Chris Hoke

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

    Youth movement in the burgh!

  6. 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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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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