Detroit Lions defensive tackle John Penisini has announced his retirement just two seasons into his NFL career. The 25-year-old took to Instagram on Saturday in an effort to thank not only his teammates and coaches, but also his family and friends who supported his football dream.
Detroit Lions News
Penisini was the Lions' sixth-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft and had appeared in 32 games over the last two seasons (12 starts). During that span, the former Utah standout accumulated 49 tackles (4.0 for loss), 1.0 sack and 1 fumble recovery as a reliable run-stopper up the middle.
It's interesting to note that when Penisini was drafted, he was viewed as the perfect fit at nose tackle in then head coach Matt Patricia's system. With defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn leading the way in 2021, it was much tougher to find a role for him considering how often the D-line was attacking.
While Penisini didn't go into detail about his reasons for retiring, it's worth mentioning that he dealt with a serious injury prior to the start of the 2021 season. Calcium deposits that had become the size of a softball built up in his shoulders. Somehow he found a way to play through the pain, though.
For now, Detroit will lean on Michael Brockers and Aim McNeil to solidify the middle of the defensive line. Training camp and preseason action will help determine the rest of the depth chart. The Lions currently have odds set at +370 to make the NFL Playoffs, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
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