NFL

Mike Iupati, former All-Pro and Pro Bowl guard, retires after 11 NFL seasons due to mounting injuries

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Longtime NFL guard Mike Iupati is retiring. Iupati, 33, who most recently played for the Seattle Seahawks, told The Spokesman-Review, “My body was telling me it was time to close the door.”

Iupati suffered injuries to his knee and neck in 2020, which limited him to 10 games. He had previously dealt with a neck injury earlier in his career, and according to The Spokesman-Review, the “chronic neck condition convinced him he needed to give the game up.”

Iupati played 11 years in the NFL, all of them with NFC West teams. He spent the first five years his career with the San Francisco 49ers, who made him the No. 17 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. He blossomed into one of the best guards in the league, making the Pro Bowl in each of his final three seasons in San Francisco, as well as the All-Pro first team in 2012. 

Iupati then left for the division rival Arizona Cardinals, with whom he spent four seasons. He excelled during his first and second years in Arizona, getting named to the All-Pro second team in 2015. Injuries limited him to just one game in 2017, though, and he spent one more relatively ineffective season with the Cardinals after that. 

He landed in Seattle for the final two years of his career, playing 26 games and making 25 starts. He was a solid starter when on the field, but it became clear that injuries were limiting his ability to be his most effective self. Now, he’s hanging up his spikes for good. 



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