The Miami Dolphins made roster moves on Tuesday that included the team placing veteran linebacker Koa Misi on injured reserve. According to 940AM radio host Andy Slater, Misi is planning to tell the Dolphins on Wednesday that he will be retiring from the game. Misi was hoping to come back after a neck injury caused him to miss 13 games last year.
Misi had spinal fusion surgery to repair the damage, but had not received medical clearance to return to football activities.
SLATER SCOOP: LB Koa Misi is retiring. He plans to tell the Miami Dolphins tomorrow, source says.— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) July 26, 2017
Drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Misi was a solid player for the Dolphins over seven seasons, but struggled with injuries. He only was able to play in all 16 games during his rookie year, though he had never played in less than 11 games before last year. He finishes his career with 72 starts in 84 games played, with 352 career tackles, 12 sacks, 11 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries with one touchdown.
The Dolphins were hoping Misi would be cleared to return to the team and potentially challenge for a starting position. With news of his move to IR, and now his retirement, the starting linebackers will likely be Kiko Alonso, Lawrence Timmons, and rookie Raekwon McMillan.
On Tuesday, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase had expressed hope that Misi would come back at some point, telling the media, “In my mind, I feel confident that (Misi will be able to play again) at some point. I just don’t know where we’re at right now. Once I get those results (from a Tuesday physical) and talk to our guys and talk to (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Mike (Tannenbaum) and (General Manager) Chris (Grier) and Koa, then I’ll know more. I just … I don’t have enough information right now.”
It sounds like those results were not positive, and Misi may be making the best choice for his long term health.
UPDATE: According to Adam Beasley and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Misi’s representatives have denied the linebacker’s plans to retire.
UPDATE 2: Slater reiterates that Misi is planning to retire, responding to Barry Jackson writing, “Misi told his family members and close friends [Tuesday night].”