Packers’ Robert Brooks Retires
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ Packers receiver Robert Brooks retired today, ending a career in which he became a favorite with Green Bay fans by jumping into the stands after touchdown catches.
``You can fool a lot of people, but you can’t fool yourself,″ he said at a news conference. ``I’m 29 years old, and after a practice, I feel like I’m 50.″
Brooks’ seven-year career was been undercut by injuries to his knee, back and hamstrings. He has had two back operations in the last 12 months.
After one day of practice at training camp, he skipped workouts last weekend and told coach Ray Rhodes on Saturday he would retire.
He said he was tired of ``being a tough guy″ and taking large doses of pain medication simply to get through practice.
Brooks had arthroscopic surgery during training camp last year for a herniated disc. He did not practice until Oct. 11, and he had a similar operation Jan. 6.
He attended minicamp in June but various aches remained. He considered retiring then but reconsidered after talking with Rhodes.
``They gave me the feeling as if they were counting on me,″ Brooks said.
Brooks originated the ``Lambeau Leap″ after big touchdown catches. Offensive coordinator Sherman Lewis said Brooks will be missed.
``He’s going to do very well in life,″ Lewis said. ``We’ll always be there for him.″
The Packers’ other starting receiver, Antonio Freeman, is a training-camp holdout. Corey Bradford and Bill Schroeder are the leading contenders to replace Brooks.
Brooks, who signed a five-year, $15 million contract in 1998, agreed to a $1.1 million pay cut in June, which the Packers said eased their salary-cap restrictions.
In 1995, Brooks caught 102 passes for a team-record 1,497 yards. But the next three seasons he had just 114 catches for 1,774 yards while missing 16 games with injuries.
The Packers’ franchise leader in postseason catches and receiving yards, he had just 31 receptions for 420 yards in 12 games last season.