MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (AFP) –
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Asher Allen has retired from the National Football League at age 24, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier announced on Wednesday.
Allen has a history of concussions but it was not known exactly what prompted his departure from the gridiron at such a young age. Concussions have been a growing health concern for the NFL, especially their long-term impact.
“I didn’t see that coming,” Frazier said. “Everybody has to make decisions that they think are best for them.”
Frazier said Allen, a third-round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft, had told him last week that he was planning to retire.
“His experience would have helped us,” Frazier said. “But he has made a decision that he thinks is best for he and his family and you have to respect that.”
Allen has played in 37 NFL games, 21 as a starter for the Vikings, over the past three seasons with 129 career tackles, four interceptions, a forced fumble and 18 pass deflections. He also made 12 tackles on kick return coverage.
Last season, Allen started in nine of his 12 appearances and made 49 tackles and intercepted one pass.