Former Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Rodney Gunter is stepping away from the game of football.
In a message on Twitter Sunday, Gunter said that he has an enlarged aorta.
“After seeing several heart specialists, I was told if I continue to play ball with my condition, I could possibly rupture or tear my aorta, which is enlarged,” Gunter said.
Gunter said if that happens, it could cause sudden death or a severe stroke.
He also said there is a 50/50 chance that surgery could fix his condition, but he currently doesn’t meet the requirements.
“So at this moment, the best choice Is for me and my family to walk away from this game,” Gunter said.
Gunter was a fourth-round pick by the Cardinals in 2015 and played all five of his NFL seasons in Arizona.
He started all 13 games in 2019. Gunter had 31 total tackles and three sacks in 2019 after a career-high 4.5 last season.
In March, the Jacksonville Jaguars had signed the defensive lineman as an unrestricted free agent.