Detroit Lions’ John Penisini announces surprise NFL retirement

Detroit Lions’ John Penisini announces surprise NFL retirement

Defensive tackle John Penisini has announced his retirement from the NFL, days after being absent from the Detroit Lions’ mandatory minicamp.

“I have made the decision to retire from football,” Penisini, 25, wrote in an Instagram post early Saturday. “I will definitely miss my teammates in the coaching staff, but I’m glad I got to experience it. I am happy and excited for all that life has for me.

Utah’s 2020 sixth-round pick, Penisini — 6-foot-2, 335 pounds — has been a rotational player on the Lions’ defensive line for the past two seasons and likely would have played a similar role this fall.

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Detroit Lions defensive tackle John Penisini (98) walks off the field after their Dec. 26, 2021 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Asked about Penisini’s absence on Tuesday, Lions coach Dan Campbell was vague as to why he was not at camp but planned to meet Penisini that evening.

Penisini, who was at the Lions practice facility at Allen Park this week, joins undrafted rookie cornerback Jermaine Waller in retiring early in recent days.

Campbell said Walker decided the NFL “wasn’t for him, and that’s okay.”

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In advising players considering retirement, Campbell said he asks them to think about two questions: what are their post-football plans and, “five years from now (when) do you think back to this moment, will you regret it?”

“You’re just trying to get them to think about it as much as possible and really — that’s really, ultimately for me, what I want to know they did,” Campbell said. “They’ve really thought about it and tried to at least look and that they have a plan, they’re able to know that they’re about to make a decision that they can walk away from and never look back on. That So that’s part of it. Everybody – it hits everybody a little bit differently, at different times and for us from that perspective, it’s better for it to happen now than later.”

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