Pittsburgh Steelers NT Chris Hoke retiring

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Chris Hoke is retiring.

The 35-year-old Hoke spent 11 seasons with the Steelers after originally signing with the team as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Brigham Young in 2001.

Hoke was a valuable backup during his career. The Steelers went 17-1 in games he started, including a 2-0 mark in 2011. Hoke sustained a neck injury following a 17-13 victory over Jacksonville in October. The injury required surgery and the team placed him on season-ending injured reserve in December.

Popular in the locker room and the community, Hoke's traditional "hokey pokey" served as the official opening of training camp. He spent the latter part of his career mentoring youngsters like Steve McClendon and Ziggy Hood.

Hoke played in 114 games during his career, finishing with 81 tackles and two sacks.

Hoke will discuss his decision Thursday, according to the team's release.

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