“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,” Clark’s agent, Alan Herman, told ESPN.
Clark, 24, was told he would risk paralysis if he continued to play.
“A great young man, with a bright future, I am thankful for Cameron’s peace in making his decision, however bittersweet it may be,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said in a statement to ESPN. “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.”
A 2020 fourth-round pick from the Charlotte 49ers, Clark was injured Aug. 3 at the Jets’ training facility in Florham Park, New Jersey. He was motionless for several minutes on the ground after going down during an 11-on-11 period. The 6-foot-4, 308-pound guard was taken via ambulance to a local hospital.
At the time, the Jets called it a spinal cord contusion, saying he would make a full recovery.
Clark’s career ends without him ever taking a snap in a regular-season game. His rookie year, called a developmental year by the organization, was interrupted by a shoulder injury. He went into the 2021 training camp as a backup, fighting for a roster spot.