Former Trojan Armond Armstead, who has battled medical conditions throughout his entire career, was medically forced to retire from the National Football League on Wednesday. While the full book on Armstead's health may never be closed, especially in the manner he was forced to end his collegiate career, the young man's tale of perseverance was certainly commendable for all parties involved.
Armstead played at USC from 2008-10, but he suffered a heart attack and wasn't medically cleared to play for the 2011 season. He finished his career with 59 tackles, 10.5 for loss, and recorded two sacks while starting 17 games for USC's defense. He started all of his 2010 junior season, appearing in all but one game, recording 43 tackles, including 6.5 for losses (with 3 sacks), plus one fumble recovery and two pass deflections.
But as our own writer Shotgun Spratling points out, Armstead's name could be back in the Trojan news cycle very soon.
Armstead still has a pending lawsuit against the school for painkillers he was given that caused him to have a heart attack.— Shotgun Spratling (@ShotgunSpr) July 16, 2014
He then went undrafted in 2012 and elected to play in Canada, where he recorded six sacks and helped the Argonauts win the Grey Cup. After proving himself for that season, which drew him comparisons to a low-first or early second-round NFL pick by his CFL General Manager, Armstead signed with the New England Patriots in 2013.
Unfortunately Armstead was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list in training camp and missed the entire season. Sources with the Patriots believed Armstead was ready to compete for major playing time on the defensive line heading into the 2014 season before the news of his retirement became public knowledge earlier this week.