Ex-Pats WR Mitchell: More work to do post-NFL

9:03 PM ET

BOSTON — With palpable emotion, former University of Georgia and New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell explained his decision to retire from football at age 26.

Mitchell had not suited up in a game that counted since playing a key role in the Patriots’ comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

“The thing that hurts the most is that it was just so unfortunate. It was out of everyone’s control,” Mitchell said Thursday after he read to elementary school students as part of his work as an advocate for reading. “It was just the way it was supposed to be; unfortunately, it’s not the way I think everybody wanted it to be. It’s definitely not what I wanted.”

Mitchell said in January that he has had 10 surgeries on his knee. At that point, he was still holding out hope of playing again, but things changed over the past two months.

Malcolm Mitchell, who has a lingering knee injury and has had 10 surgeries, retired from the NFL at age 26. The former Patriots receiver hasn’t played since his rookie season in 2016.

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