San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Chris Borland has announced his intention to retire despite being only 24 years old, as he is concerned about head trauma.
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Borland was drafted by the 49ers in the third round of the 2014 draft, and he was expected to be the eventual successor to All-Pro Patrick Willis, who also announced his retirement following the 2014 season.
He had a promising rookie season with 107 tackles, a sack, and two interceptions before it was cut short with an ankle injury that sent him to the injured reserve list.
For his performance, Borland received one vote for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, but the 49ers defense will be taking another big step back.
The 49ers have had another rough offseason, as they have lost head coach Jim Harbaugh, running back Frank Gore, wide receiver Michael Crabtree, and guard Mike Iupati.
Borland’s abrupt retirement leaves the 49ers thin at inside linebacker, as only NaVorro Bowman is a proven commodity at the position, and questions about the team’s future continue to multiply.