Sony Michel, the two-time Super Bowl champion running back, has chosen to retire from professional football. The announcement came on the opening weekend of training camp for the Los Angeles Rams, the same team that re-signed him just last month. Head coach Sean McVay shared the news with the media after the team’s third practice of camp. Following a conversation that morning with Michel, he informed the team of his intention to retire.
The 28-year-old Michel was entering his sixth NFL season, following a successful four-year college career at Georgia. He experienced immediate success in the league, winning a Super Bowl ring in his rookie year with the New England Patriots. Later, he earned a second championship with the Rams three years later. McVay described Michel as not only “the epitome of a pro” but also “a hugely instrumental piece” for the Rams’ title-winning squad in 2021. The head coach expressed his admiration for Michel’s talent and career, emphasizing the impact he had on the team.
McVay disclosed that Michel’s decision to retire stemmed from his body signaling a need for a respite. The Rams coach expressed nothing but respect and appreciation for Michel as a competitor and stated that he loves him as a person. Michel spent the previous season as a backup with the Los Angeles Chargers before returning to the Rams. Initially expected to be the primary backup to Cam Akers, Michel’s retirement now necessitates the search for another veteran running back to complement Akers, along with young players Kyren Williams and Zach Evans.
The Rams’ Motivation
Star defensive tackle Aaron Donald was caught off guard by Michel’s retirement news, only learning about it once he met with the reporters following the training camp practice. Donald acknowledged the team’s adjustment to numerous new faces in camp this season after a disappointing 5-12 record last year. He spoke about the team’s determination to reclaim their place at the top and prove themselves. Donald highlighted the need for motivation and the desire to prove themselves both as a team and as individual players.
Michel was a first-round pick by the Patriots in the 2018 NFL Draft, and it was his touchdown in Super Bowl 53 that secured the Patriots’ victory with a score of 13-3 over the Rams. He reached the milestone of rushing for at least 900 yards in each of his first two seasons with New England and contributed 845 yards for the Rams during the 2021 regular season. In his five NFL seasons, Michel amassed a total of 3,243 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
Sony Michel’s retirement comes as a surprise to fans and the Rams organization alike. As he walks away from the game, the running back leaves behind a legacy of success, two Super Bowl championships, and an undeniable impact on the teams he played for. The Rams will now have to navigate the loss of Michel and search for a suitable replacement as they strive to reclaim their position as one of the league’s top contenders.