15 months ago, former NY Jets offensive lineman Cameron Clark was forced to retire from the NFL as a result of a spinal cord injury he had suffered in training camp the previous summer.
It was a tragic end to a career that once looked so promising — a harrowing reminder that football is a dangerous game and that life can change at a moment's notice.
Clark has been keeping busy since his retirement, however. He's become a private offensive line coach and founded his own company, Abundance Performance. Now, he's set to return to the organization that drafted him to play in the NFL.
Clark announced last week that he will be returning to the Jets in an official capacity to work behind the scenes. It's unclear what his exact role will be, but Clark shared that he's looking "forward to adding value in player development."
The NY Jets are taking care of Cameron Clark post-retirement
The Jets drafted Clark in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft with the hope that he could develop into a future starter. A three-year starter at Charlotte, Clark was seen as one of the better small-school offensive line prospects in his draft class.
His rookie season was marred by injury, and he never managed to appear in a game, but hopes were high that Clark could take a step forward and develop in his second season. Unfortunately, that's when tragedy would strike.
During a training camp practice on Aug. 3, 2021, Clark suffered a spinal cord injury that left him motionless for several minutes. The Jets abruptly ended practice as Clark was taken off the field in an ambulance.
Clark officially announced his retirement the following winter, citing doctor's orders. Just 24 years old at the time, Clark was told that he would risk paralysis if he continued to play, per ESPN's Rich Cimini.
It's heartbreaking to see a player's career and an individual's dream end so abruptly, but at the same time, it's encouraging to see that Clark has done quite well for himself after retirement.
Now, he's back where his NFL journey all started. Cameron Clark is back in Florham Park.