Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and West Virginia native Ryan Switzer has retired from football at the age of 27 after suffering his third major injury in as many seasons.
Switzer, who had been a free agent, announced earlier this month that he had surgery on his ankle. He was placed on injured reserve in each of his final two seasons with the Cleveland Browns.
“In light of a recent injury, I feel I’m no longer able to meet the physical demands of the game,” Switzer said in a post to social media. “I have decided to retire from the NFL. I want to thank my teammates and coaches from every level and each organization that provided me an opportunity to play.”
A graduate of George Washington high school in Charleston, West Virginia, Switzer attended North Carolina, where he was a two-time All-American return specialist and a four-time All-ACC selection, as both a returner and a wide receiver. He tied an NCAA record with five punt return touchdowns as a freshman in 2013 and finished his career with 4,092 all-purpose yards and 26 total touchdowns.
Switzer was selected in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, but after one season, was traded to the Oakland Raiders and then Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018.
He played 25 of his 41 NFL games with Pittsburgh, catching 44 passes for 280 yards and one touchdown in his time with the Steelers, working mostly as a slot receiver. He was also the Steelers’ primary returner in that time, and had 1,133 all purpose yards in 2018.
Switzer was released by the Steelers at the end of training camp in 2020 and caught on with the Cleveland Browns, where he spent two seasons on the practice squad and injured reserve without appearing in a game.