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Statement from Defensive Lineman Rodney Gunter

AP_19282079413751
Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Rodney Gunter (95) during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 06, 2019, in Cincinnati. The Cardinals won 26-23. (Aaron Doster via AP)

These last three weeks have been a hard pill to swallow. Seeing my dreams vanish right in front of me has been extremely difficult. 

After seeing several heart specialists I was told if I continue to play ball with my condition, I could possibly rupture or tear my aorta which is enlarged. This can cause sudden death or a severe stroke. 

There is a 50/50 chance that surgery will fix my current health condition. But at the moment, I do not meet the criteria to undergo the operation. Those who qualify must have 5.5+ cm enlarged aorta, while mine measures 5.0 cm. At this time, I cannot play or have the surgery so I must wait. So at this moment, the best choice for me and my family is to walk away from this game. 

I appreciate the Jaguars for giving me an opportunity, and I'm thankful for everyone who has believed in me along the way. Thank you!

— GUNT

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