Ex-Miami WR McDuffie retires

Aug. 25, 2002 at 12:39 PM
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MIAMI, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- O.J. McDuffie, who came up just short of great expectations but still had a sterling career in the NFL, has announced his retirement.

In recent years, McDuffie has been hampered by injuries, mainly a toe ailment which he claims was misdiagnosed by team doctors, were negligent, and led to a malpractice suit against the team. The suit went to court on June 7.

He had two surgeries on the big toe on his left foot and took numerous pain-killing injections during the 1999 season, but was able to play through the pain in 2000, appearing in nine games. He was inactive for the entire 2001 season because of the injury.

In 1998, he set a franchise record with a league- and career-high 90 receptions. He finished his career with 415 catches, fourth-most in team history behind Mark Clayton, Mark Duper and Nat Moore, for 5,074 yards and 29 touchdowns.

The first-round pick by the Dolphins in 1993 out of Penn State skipped offseason practices this year because of the foot pain, and was released earlier this year after being unable to reach contract terms.

"I have had a blessed and rewarding career, surrounded by great people, beginning with the legendary coach Don Shula," McDuffie said in a prepared statement. "I want to thank all of my teammates for the memories. "Foremost on that list is (now-retired) Dan Marino, who was an even better person than quarterback and is a continuing inspiration. I also want to express my gratitude to the great fans of the Miami Dolphins."

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