Ravens WR Brandon Stokley retires

Wide receiver Brandon Stokley #80 of the Baltimore Ravens catches a pass during warmups prior to...

Wide receiver Brandon Stokley #80 of the Baltimore Ravens catches a pass during warmups prior to the start of a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at M&T Bank Stadium on August 22, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 7:51 PM ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Brandon Stokley, who is finishing the season on injured reserve, announced his retirement Thursday.

In an interview with the Denver Post, Stokley said he would officially hang up the cleats following the season.

Stokley, 37, is one of just 18 wide receivers who played at least 15 seasons in the NFL, according to the Post. Of that group, Stokley made the fewest receptions, 397. The next fewest is former New England Patriots receiver Troy Brown with 557.

This year, Stokley made 13 receptions for 120 yards before he suffered a season-ending concussion against the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 8.

"I'm glad I played this year because now I know I'm done," he told the Post during an interview at his suburban Denver home. "Had I not played this year I would have always felt I could have kept playing. I still know I can play but my body just can't go through it anymore."

Stokley finishes with 5,339 receiving yards and 39 touchdowns. His best season was 2004, when he recorded 68 catches for 1,077 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Indianapolis Colts. He never topped 635 receiving yards or five touchdowns in any of his other seasons.

A fourth-round pick of the Ravens in 1999 draft, Stokley played four seasons for Baltimore, then spent four years in Indianapolis. He played 2007-09 and 2012 with the Denver Broncos. Stokley spent 2010 with the Seattle Seahawks and 2011 with the New York Giants before ending his career with return stops in Denver and Baltimore.

The Post reported that Stokley might have incurred 13 concussions in his career, but he did not have an exact total. Still, he was glad he continued to play as long as he did.

"If in 30 years I'm feeling fine and I would have stopped playing football four or five years ago it would have been, 'Why did I stop?' You can't predict the future," Stokley told the Post. "So I was all in with football until I knew it was time for me to stop playing."

Quarterback Peyton Manning, who teamed with Stokley in Indianapolis and Denver, told the Post, "I think Brandon is the best teammate I've ever had. He's a guy you want on your team in your corner. Fifteen years as a slot receiver in the NFL, going across the middle, taking hits, it's almost unheard of."

 


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