NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Delanie Walker knew his broken ankle was bad when he didn’t feel any pain while on the field in Miami. Not because of shock. The nerve-endings had been severed.
Walker played seven more games a season later in 2019. It also took Walker nearly three years to officially retire Tuesday from the NFL. That decision came with starting a new job with the NFL Legends Community.
Walker said there’s no other job like the NFL. He played 14 seasons as a sixth-round draft pick. Walker says he wanted to retire as a member of the Tennessee Titans where his career as a pass-catching tight end took off, “The coaches, the staff, they believed in me. They said it’s all up to you, you have the chance to be great you’ve just got to take it and run with it. I looked at that as opportunity. I knew what I could do in this league I just needed the opportunity to have that chance to show it and the Titans gave me that opportunity. That’s why I’m here to retire because I feel like all of my best years started here.”
Walker finished with 504 receptions for 5, 888 yards and 36 touchdowns. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and had he played virtually anywhere else could have been chosen a fourth or even fifth time.
The impact he made off the field was almost as great as the one on it. Walker was a four-time captain for the Titans and a two-time Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner.