Paralysis risk ends Jets OL Cameron Clark's career before his 1st NFL snap

Cameron Clark #72 of the New York Jets looks on during the fourth quarter of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on January 3, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
Cameron Clark is quitting football due to a risk of paralysis. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

New York Jets offensive lineman Cameron Clark sustained what the team announced was a spinal contusion in training camp.

Per the Jets, Clark lay motionless on the turf for several minutes before being taken to a hospital via ambulance following a collision during drills on Aug. 3. After he was evaluated, the Jets announced that he was expected to make a full recovery.

On Wednesday, Clark's agent Alan Herman told ESPN's Rich Cimini that Clark is retiring from football due to an ongoing risk of paralysis. He's 24 years old.

"Based on the advice of Dr. Andrew Hecht, a prominent orthopedic surgeon at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, Cameron will not be able to continue to play football for the New York Jets," Herman told Cimini.

Clark's career is over before it starts

Clark, a fourth-round pick out of Charlotte in 2020, didn't play this season after his spinal injury. He was considered a developmental prospect during his rookie season when he was hampered by a shoulder injury. He was expected to compete for a reserve role with the Jets prior to his spinal injury. He never played an NFL snap.

Jets coach Robert Saleh provided a statement to ESPN.

"A great young man, with a bright future, I am thankful for Cameron's peace in making his decision, however bittersweet it may be," Saleh said, per the statement. "He made it to the league because of his talent, hard work and attitude and I have every confidence that they will all continue to serve him as he transitions to the next step."

Clark has not publicly addressed his condition beyond his agent's statement.