Plaxico Burress is still trying to hang on to an NFL career and was expected to make the Pittsburgh Steelers roster this year. He had been having a steady training camp so far, but that all ended on Thursday when he tore the rotator cuff in his right shoulder.
Burress, who will turn 36 next week, was hurt when he landed hard on his right arm while trying to make a catch over defensive backs Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith and Ryan Steed. The injury likely means that Burress will miss the entire 2013 season and as a result his career could be over.
In four games with the Steelers last year Burress had three receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown. Back in 2011 – in his first season since a two-year jail stint derailed his career – he played in 16 games with the New York Jets, catching 45 passes for 612 yards and eight scores. He earned the Sporting News’ Comeback Player of the Year award and at the time it looked like he could still be a decent threat on the edge, especially in the red zone.
Back in March, Burress signed a one-year deal to remain with the Steelers and was expected to fit into the fourth or fifth wideout slot. He was also retained to give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a big red zone target. Given his 6-5, 232-pound frame, Burress was probably a solid option in that role.
Unfortunately that is not to be as he’ll likely miss the entire season after he undergoes surgery on the shoulder. There is a slight chance he could come back later in the year but no one should count on that.
If this is indeed the end of his career, Burress will finish with pretty decent overall numbers. In 11 seasons he has compiled 553 receptions for 8,499 yards and 64 touchdowns. He was also a big part of the New York Giants’ win at Super Bowl XLII.