Armond Armstead announced his retirement on Wednesday. (USA TODAY Images)
Coming off of a solid Canadien Football League season, it appeared that a shot at playing in the NFL was within his grasp after Armond Armstead signed with the New England Patriots last year.
Unfortunately, while the opportunity was close enough for him to taste it, his dream was never realized.
The defensive lineman was never able to get onto the active roster, due to the fact his body wouldn’t allow him to. According to most reports, it started after Armstead reportedly underwent a procedure to treat an infection, which saw him end up on the team’s reserve/non-football injury list in 2013.
There were questions coming in for Armstead regarding his health after he also suffered a heart attack in college at USC and has a pending lawsuit in regards to painkillers he was given in college that are believed to have caused it. However, it appeared that after playing a season in Canada that his body would potentially be able to hold up to similar rigors in the NFL.
The Patriots were one of several teams who looked at him after he came out of USC, but he went undrafted in 2012. From there he played in Toronto for the Argonauts and helped the team win the Grey Cup, recording six sacks during the season.
That performance lead to an opportunity here in New England but his infection left him sidelined during his rookie season. Heading into spring camps earlier this year there seemed to be hope that he’d might finally be able to get out and start participating in the workouts. A report by Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald back in March suggested that Armstead was on pace to be ready to participate, but something was clearly wrong.
OTA’s came and went, as did the mandatory minicamps, with Armstead still absent, leaving most wondering what his future would hold.
On Wednesday, Armstead finally decided it was time to stop chasing his dream after the 23-year old announced his retirement.
Bill Belichick had positive words for him, saying that throughout his ordeal Armstead remained upbeat and worked hard during the process.
“It has been a pleasure being around Armond, as he gave everything he could to play for us,” said Belichick via a statement released by the team. “Armond worked extremely hard since joining us last February. He’s had a lot of adversity personally that he’s had to deal with – unusual compared to most other players – but he’s always had a great attitude, worked hard and really did everything we asked him to do.
“While it is unfortunate he will not be able to play football, Armond is an outstanding young man who has a very bright future in whatever path he chooses.”