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Former Badgers TE Clay Cundiff announces retirement due to injury

The Badgers’ tight end is calling it a career after a slew of unfortunate injuries.

Former Wisconsin Badgers tight end Clay Cundiff announced his retirement due to medical issues, he announced on Sunday.

Cundiff, a redshirt junior, was not seen on the fall roster, with reports suggesting that the tight end left the program voluntarily, and the reasoning why was revealed on Sunday.

The tight end took to Twitter to share the medical difficulties he’s endured throughout his football career, which ultimately led him to his decision.

“I have proudly put pads and a jersey on since first grade, but now my body is begging me to hang up my cleats,” Cundiff shared on Twitter. “In my 15 years on the field, I have endured multiple season-ending injuries, grueling surgeries, long hospital stays, many broken bones, concussions, slipped discs, you name it.”

After a number of brutal injuries, Cundiff is choosing to protect his future, and shared a touching message to Badgers’ fans for their continuous support throughout his career.

“I have fought back time and time again, always ready to get out on the field every September. But I cannot keep up with the physical demands of the game anymore. I only have one body and it’s now my priority to protect it for my future. Thank you to Badger Nation for your love and support these past four years! Wisconsin has been very good to me and I am forever proud to be a Badger!”

Additionally, Cundiff shared a message with his teammates, as well as everyone who’s supported him on his journey.

“To my teammates, you fellas know how demanding this game is and how much work goes on behind the scenes. I have always put my body on the line for the man next to me. I never thought twice about that,” Cundiff said. “But as injuries have piled up, I cannot give my all between those two white lines anymore. I am at peace walking away from the game, and I know that our friendships will remain long after this. I love each and every one of you and wish you ultimate success.”

“Thank you to every player who stood beside me, to every coach who helped shape me, the trainers and medical staff for all the rehab, and to my family for lifting me up every time I have fallen. The game of football has given me friendships and experiences that I will cherish for the rest of my life, and for this, I am so grateful.”

With Cundiff and fellow tight end Jack Eschenbach not on the fall roster, as well as uncertainty around Cam Large, the Badgers are rolling into the year with six players at the position: Hayden Rucci (fifth-year senior), Riley Nowakowski (redshirt junior), Jack Pugh (redshirt sophomore), J.T. Seagraves (redshirt freshman), Tucker Ashcraft (true freshman) and Angel Toombs (true freshman walk-on).