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Is DeAngelo Hall’s Career Over?

The All-American Hokie DB has suffered his second season ending injury in three years.

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

For the second time in three years DeAngelo Hall has suffered a significant injury and will miss a substantial playing time. In 2014, during a third week match against the Philadelphia Eagles, the standout Hokie defensive back tore his Achilles’ tendon. Five weeks later he suffered a setback when he re-injured the damaged tendon, effectively ending his season.

In 2015 Hall switched positions from cornerback to safety. 2015 was also the season that DeAngelo became the first player in NFL history to score five touchdowns off fumble recoveries and also return five interceptions for a score. The veteran and the Redskins made what many consider a surprise appearance in the 2015 playoffs. He missed a few games, during 2015, from a toe injury, but spent the majority of the season on the field.

Week three seems to be something of a jinx for the former All-American. Both the 2014 and 2015 injuries occurred during third week match ups, and that trend has continued in 2016. Last week the Washington Redskins faced off against the rolling New York Giants and won a close game, 29-27. During the second quarter, while attempting to tackle Odell Beckham Jr., the Pro Bowl DB inured his knee and left the game. After a medical exam on the following Monday, fears of an ACL injury were confirmed when an MRI showed a tear in his right knee. DeAngelo Hall has been placed on injured reserve and will miss the remainder of the 2016 season.

Including last year’s playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers, Hall has only played in 17 games during the last three seasons. The 13 year NFL veteran will turn 33 this November. 2017 represents the last season in a four year contract extension that Hall signed after his impressive 2013 season. All of the guaranteed money associated with the extension has been paid, but Hall will carry $812,500 in dead cap space.

In the past a torn ACL, more or less, was a career ending injury for professional football players. Advances in modern medical technology have erased that reality and the mass majority of players that suffer the injury are able to return from the setback, but rarely do they return to their pre-injury form. Adrian Peterson’s rapid return from a 2011 ACL injury and his following near record breaking 2012 performance is oft cited as a source of hope for athletes recovering from the injury, but the reality is that AP’s recovery is an aberration and not the norm.

Medical professionals from Northwestern University studied a collection of NFL athletes’ orthopedic injuries and determined that players that suffered ACL tears had shorter careers than players returning from other orthopedic damage. The study also found that players returning from the injury were only able to achieve approximately 80 percent of their pre-injury performance, and their careers only last another 1.6 seasons.

Adrian Peterson’s injury occurred during his fifth season in the NFL, when he was 26 years old. Hall is 32 and playing in his 13th season. By the time he returns from the ACL injury he will be staring 34 in the face. Having demonstrated a penchant for early season injuries, two of them serious, during the last three seasons, and the fact that next year is a contract year, DeAngelo Hall’s future with the Redskins is certainly a question that is all but answered. Considering the injury issues and the age it is highly unlikely that a team would risk a high paying, long term contract on the veteran.  Hall has attacked this injury obstacle with the same passion that we have seen from his since his time under the Blacksburg lights, and we at Gobbler Country wish him the best as he works to recover.  But, as tough as it might be to realize, it seems that the All-American, Pro Bowl, Hokie’s time in the NFL is drawing to a close.