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It Could Be The End For Rod Smith

Rod Smith may have played his last game in the NFL.  We all feared this when the Broncos All-Time leading receiver underwent what amounted to a hip-replacement last off-season, even when the best undrafted free agent to ever play the position made attempt after attempt to come back.  Smith never was able to get on the field in 2007, and now it appears 2008 and beyond are in serious jeopardy as well.

It is being reported that Smith needs to undergo another procedure on the troublesome hip, with Smith actually saying the pain in his hip was worse today than before the initial surgery --

Rod Smith needs another operation on his surgically repaired left hip, and his NFL career could be over.

The Denver Broncos co-captain revealed Friday he needs another surgery. There's a strong possibility he'll require an artificial hip replacement, which almost certainly would end his 13-year NFL career.

"It's hard. Because, honestly, it could be the end of my career. It could be my last game as a professional athlete. My last game with the Denver Broncos could be this Sunday," said Smith, who has been out all season. "That in itself is really emotional, but at the same time I'm blessed to be here this long."

Smith had been getting treatment at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo., where he had a microfracture hip operation in February. He recently saw a specialist in Los Angeles, and surgery was scheduled there for next month.

Undrafted after a standout career at Missouri Southern, Smith made the team in 1995 after a season on the practice squad, embarking on a journey that included three trips to the Pro Bowl and two Super Bowl rings.

"I have a lot of memories, but the thing is not over, our season is not over," Smith said. "So I'm trying to respect everybody that's out there and make sure I don't take anything away from them. That's what I've been real hesitant to speak to anybody about it, because honestly I'm at the point where I still don't know exactly what's going on.

"I just know my leg still hurts," he said. "It's worse now than it was last year. It's worse now than it was before I actually had surgery. So I'm not comfortable. I have to get to a point where I'm comfortable."

I have been saying it all year.  As hard as it was to admit, playing wide receiver in the National Football League is hard enough when completely healthy, especially at 37.  Playing on one leg is impossible.  I once again with #80 the best and hope he finds peace with whatever decision he finally makes.