San Francisco 49ers

49ers’ Marcus Lattimore finds NFL demands ‘insurmountable,’ decides to retire

Marcus Lattimore has decided to end his two-year comeback from reconstructive knee surgery.

“This was a very difficult decision for Marcus and it was clear after speaking with him that he had put a lot of thought into it,” general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “He is a high-character young man who has done everything asked of him and more during his time with us and we have a great deal of respect for the strength and commitment he showed throughout the rehab process.”

Lattimore, a fourth-round pick in 2013, never played a snap for the 49ers and he only went through two practices this year. Those came on Wednesday and Thursday last week. Lattimore experienced soreness in his surgically reconstructed right knee on Friday and at that point began mulling whether he wanted to continue.

Teammates said they respected the hard work Lattimore did in his effort to return to the field. “I was looking forward to seeing him on the field, seeing what he could do,” quarterback Colin Kaepernick said.

Said Lattimore: “After prayer and careful consideration, I have decided it’s time to end my professional football career. I have given my heart and soul to the game that I love, and it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life and help others. I have given every ounce of my energy toward making a full recovery from my knee injury, and I have made a lot of progress. Unfortunately, getting my knee fully back to the level the NFL demands has proven to be insurmountable.”

“I am grateful for the entire 49ers organization. Their decision to draft me was the realization of a lifelong dream to be an NFL player, and I cannot thank them enough for believing in me and for doing everything in their power to assist in my recovery. I will always be a 49er!

“There are so many people who have supported me throughout my career; it is impossible to list them all and to show them the proper gratitude,” he continued. “I must thank God for all of His blessings and guidance. I would not be where I am today without the support of my family. I also appreciate the outpouring of support from friends, fans, opposing players and strangers; your support means more than you will ever know.”

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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