Esks receiver Nate Coehoorn announces retirement

The hits just keep coming in Edmonton: Canadian receiver Nate Coehoorn unexpectedly announced his retirement from football via social media on Sunday afternoon.

Here’s the full text of his statement:

After a lot of thought and prayer. I have decided to call it a career and retire from the CFL. I know I could still play a couple of years. However with how my body and more importantly my head have been acting up in the last couple years due to injuries. I feel that long term health and quality of life are my priority now. The spark and passion to play that I once had isn’t as strong as it was when I first started. I have been blessed to have had a successful career and the title of Grey Cup Champion. I have given a lot to this game and have given a lot up for it. People always say “you’ll know when it is time to walk away” and I have complete peace with the decision I am making. With that I would like to thank all of the people in my life who have journeyed with me through this process and have helped me become the player I was and more importantly into the man of God I have become. I want to thank my wife Tegan and my parents for all of their support throughout my career; I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you. I want to thank the Edmonton Eskimos for the opportunity to be an Eskimo and to be a part of the great tradition here in Edmonton. I have created lifelong relationships in my 6 seasons here in Edmonton that I will have forever. I will miss my teammates, coaches and fans that supported me over the years. I’m hanging up my cleats and stepping into a new future that I feel God has called me into.

The announcement comes as a surprise, given that Coehoorn started 14 games for the Eskimos last season and is only 30 years old. The plan in Edmonton was likely to start three Canadian receivers but with Coehoorn gone, head coach Jason Maas may have to rethink that strategy. The timing of Coehoorn’s announcement could have been better – free agency has come and gone – but it also could have been worse (the draft is next month.)

One other interesting tidbit: Coehoorn posted, then deleted, a Tweet about pay cuts to veteran players after general manager Ed Hervey was fired on Friday.

“Crazy news out of Eskimo land. I wonder if giving pay cuts to a lot of veteran players had anything to do with it.”

Coehoorn was the fifth overall pick by Edmonton in the 2011 CFL Draft and has played in 91 games in his six-year career, making 211 catches for 2,376 yards and six touchdowns.

Drew Edwards is the founder of 3DownNation but has since wandered off. Beard in the photo not exactly as shown.