Kory Lichtensteiger was a mainstay in the Redskins' starting lineup for a few years, but after back-to-back seasons marred by injury he knew the "right move" was to retire.
Kory Lichtensteiger knew the end was near for him during the 2016 season and wanted to complete his career on his own terms. So last Friday, the 31-year old announced his retirement from the NFL after eight seasons, the final seven of which came in Washington with the Redskins.
Lichtensteiger returned from a neck/shoulder injury suffered midway through the 2015 season and got back into the starting lineup just in time for the Redskins' Wild Card Round matchup with the Green Bay Packer. But once again he wound up on Injured Reserve in Week 3 of the 2016 season with a calf injury, but by the time he was able to be activated Spencer Long was playing well enough to keep his job as the starting center.
Lichtensteiger, meanwhile, did not take a single snap after returning.
"It's something that I have been thinking about for a while," Lichtensteiger said on "Redskins Nation." "The way the last couple years went with me getting hurt and getting put on IR, I kind of knew my time was time was ticking down a little bit. At this point I knew I could go out somewhat on my own terms. I knew that if I tried to stretch it out a little bit then it would have been switching teams and it was going to be competing maybe not for a starting role. That's not something I'm really prepared to do at this point. It made it easy.
"I've had a lot of discussions with coaches, family, teammates, and I don't think that anybody inside my close circle was surprised by this move. I have a ton of respect for Jay [Gruden], Mike [Shanahan] and the organization as a whole. Like I said in my letter, you need people that believe in you, loyal to you, and thankfully I've had that."
Lichtensteiger appeared in 77 games with the Redskins dating back to his debut season in Washington in 2010.
At one point, he made 53 consecutive starts across the two positions from the start of the 2012 season through Week 5 of the 2015 season.
Take a look back on Kory Lichtensteiger's seven years with the Washington Redskins.
That 2012 season was a special one for Lichtensteiger, just one year removed from a season-ending multi-ligament knee injury suffered in 2011.
Not only did he return to start all 16 regular season games in 2012, the Redskins were able to go from 3-6 and last place in the NFC East midway through the yeat to a seven-game winning streak that captured the franchise's first division title since 1999. In the regular season finale, the Redskins – highlighted by a 200-yard rushing performance out of Alfred Morris – soared past the Cowboys to earn a playoff spot.
"Probably the seven straight games that we won in 2012 to make it to the playoffs and any playoff appearance are always special," Lichtensteiger said of his favorite moment with the Redskins. "Even though we didn't win [vs. Seattle], we had a couple while I was here; playing in those games are always awesome. There is too many really to even mention. I have nothing but great memories with this organization and my entire time in the NFL."
While Lichtensteiger will no longer guide the four offensive linemen that flanked him on game days, he has a new challenge awaiting him at home: parenting his four young boys.
"Four boys and they eat like offensive linemen," Lichtensteiger said with a smile.