Damon Harrison Sr. has had a rough year in every sense of the word. His performance on the field wasn’t up to his own standards in Detroit, which Lions fans quickly became accustomed to after his phenomenal 2018 season—even if it was just for half a season.
But it was also one that physically rough for the Lions nose tackle. Though he only missed one game all season, Harrison was on every single injury report from Week 8 and beyond. He played through injuries to his groin, knee, calf and shoulder all in the last half of the schedule, and it appears Harrison may listen to his body and give up the game he has dominated for the past eight seasons.
“It’s been tough,” Harrison said as he fought back tears in the locker room following Detroit’s ninth-consecutive loss to end the season. “Fought through some injuries all year and wasn’t able to...”
At this point, he couldn’t hold back the tears any longer.
“Wasn’t able to get back to the form I’m used to, and I’ve got too much pride, man. I’ve been doing this too long. So if I can’t be the player that I’m used to being, I think my teammates deserve better, my family deserves better, the fans deserve better. I never cheated the game a day in my life.”
#Lions Damon "Snacks"Harrison tearfully said he hasn't made decision to retire yet final "I got too much pride...so if I can't be the player that I'm used to being I think my teammates deserve better, my family deserves better...I never cheated the game a day in my life" pic.twitter.com/Mo4FGz8AdR— FOX 2 Sports (@FOX2Sports) December 29, 2019
While Harrison certainly sounds like he’s leaning retirement, he admitted this decision has not been made yet.
“I’ve got to talk it over with my family, try to seek some different option,” Harrison told reporters.
Ultimately, it was the wear and tear both physically and mentally that has driven Harrison to this crossroads.
“All year, I’ve just been hurting. It’s been something new every week, and really I’m just tired of hurting, trying to fight through it.”
As of now, Harrison remains signed through the 2021 season after agreeing to an extension earlier this year. He’s set to make over $9 million each season if he stays for 2020 and 2021, but if his body tells him to walk away, he won’t go out with any regrets.
“If I do walk away, I’m not going to feel bad because I gave it everything I had, even when it wasn’t good enough.”