Football Injury

Doug Baldwin’s Retirement a Stark Reminder on Injuries to Professional Athletes

By: Caleb J. Duncan

Doug Baldwin’s recent retirement announcement may not have been too surprising, but it is certainly sad to see one injury-riddled year result in one of Seattle’s best all-time receivers leaving the game.

Baldwin suffered one of his worst years in 2018 after sustaining injuries to both of his knees, his elbow, shoulder, groin, and his hip. He finished last year having played 13 games with 618 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. It’s actually quite surprising that he managed to still play 13 games with the extent of his injuries.

While fans eagerly hoped a return to form for the Seahawks receiver they were probably disheartened to learn Baldwin failed his physical and was subsequently released at the age of 30. Baldwin’s age put him in an odd spot for a valued receiver coming off a season marred with injuries. He was no longer in his prime, but receivers are easily capable of producing into their 30’s and that was certainly the hope for Baldwin who had been a dangerous weapon for Russell Wilson. It’s clear that the 2 time Pro-Bowler took this failed physical as a sign he needed to step away.

The drafting of star wide receiver D.K. Metcalf was also a clear indication that Seattle was preparing for a younger receiving crew.

Baldwin is just one of many athletes who are forced to retire early in their careers when injuries play a significant role. There are some athletes who tend to have issues staying healthy in general, but the idea of one injury or one bad season being the catalyst to ending a career should show fans and potential players the dubious nature of an athlete’s career.

Baldwin finishes his career having made two SuperBowl appearances in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, the Seahawks easily defeated the Denver Broncos, but lost the next year to the New England Patriots.


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