Doctors tell Gray he risked paralysis by continuing to play

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Seahawks offensive lineman Chris Gray has retired on the eve of his 16th NFL season because of a lower back and spine injury that threatened his ability to walk.

Seattle's record holder for consecutive games played at 121 at guard and center from 1999 to 2006 made his announcement nine days after he felt his back pop while hitting a blocking sled in training camp.

The 38-year-old Gray said three team doctors told him Saturday that he risked paralysis if he continued playing. He said that made his decision clear but not easy. He added he'd been crying for two days while telling people of his forced retirement.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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