Steelers NT Hoke ready to embrace retirement

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Chris Hoke considered going through neck surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation in hopes of coming back for a 12th season.

Instead, he opted for retirement, thinking the danger of re-injury wouldn't be fair to his family.

The 35-year-old officially called it a career on Wednesday, surrounded by his wife and their four children as well as longtime teammates Casey Hampton, Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel and Steelers owner Art Modell II.

Hoke made the team as an undrafted free agent out of BYU in 2001 then spent a decade becoming one of the more reliable backups in the league. The Steelers were 17-1 when Hoke started. He played in six games in 2011 before his neck injury became unbearable.

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