Houston Texans tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz says he is contemplating retirement after suffering three concussions in 2017.
“A dude knocked me out,” Fiedorowicz told the Northwest (Ill.) Herald of the Week 1 concussion against the Jacksonville Jaguars that put him on injured reserve. “After eight weeks, when I came back, it was constantly on my mind. I wasn’t always able to play loose and free. It was in my head. Anytime that’s on your mind while you’re playing an NFL football game, you’re in trouble. You can’t play timid. Guys are trying to take your head off, you know?”
Fiedorowicz returned to play four more games before going back on injured reserve.
“You can’t go repair your brain,” Fiedorowicz told the newspaper. “It’s not like an ACL or shoulder. That’s serious. I took some dingers. There was a couple of weeks there where I was having some tough times. This is what I’ve done my whole life, so to think that I’m going to walk away is tough. It’s not something that I thought of doing, because I signed the new deal, anytime soon. Life goes on, whatever happens.”
Fiedorowicz, 26, signed a three-year, $21.5 million contract extension before last season with $10 million guaranteed. His $5 million base salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed, but the Houston Chronicle reported it can be reduced to $2.8 million if he is unable to play due to concussions.
Fiedorowicz previously said he planned to report to the Texans’ offseason workouts this spring but told the Northwest Herald that he may sit out 2018 and re-evaluate his situation the following offseason.
“I know I enjoy working out enough to be able to continue playing, but maybe I just need a little time away,” Fiedorowicz said. “I don’t have to make that decision right now.”
In 2017, Fiedorowicz appeared in five games and caught 14 passes for 127 yards. For his career, the 2014 third-round pick has 89 catches for 881 yards and six touchdowns.
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Fiedorowicz was an all-Big Ten pick in 2013 after catching 30 passes for 299 yards and six touchdowns for the Hawkeyes. The Johnsburg, Ill., native totaled 91 receptions for 899 yards and 10 TDs in his Iowa career.