Former Steelers wide receiver and kick returner Ryan Switzer announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday. At only 27 years old, Switzer announced he is retiring due to injury.
A fourth-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys out of the University of North Carolina, Switzer appeared in all 16 games for the Cowboys his rookie season primarily as a punt and kick returner. In his rookie season in Dallas, Switzer had 29 punt returns for 256 yards and a touchdown as well as 24 kickoff returns for 600 yards. Switzer also added six receptions for 41 yards and four rushes for 5 yards as part of the 92 offensive snaps he played with Dallas.
Traded to the Oakland Raiders following the 2018 NFL draft for defensive tackle Jihad Ward, Switzer did not find his way with the Raiders and was acquired by the Steelers just before the start of the 2018 regular season. In the trade, the Steelers received Switzer and a 2019 sixth-round draft pick in exchange for 2019 fifth-round draft pick.
With the Steelers, Switzer had 30 punt returns for 252 yards and 30 kickoff returns for 607 yards in his first season in 2018. Switzer also got involved with the offense where we had 36 receptions for 253 yards and a touchdown as well as six rushes for 21 yards.
In 2019, Switzer only appeared in nine games before going on the Reserve/Injured list with a back injury. During his 2019 season, Switzer had eight punt returns for 29 yards and nine kickoff returns for 166 yards, which gave him his lowest yards per return in each category during his career by a large margin. Switzer also had eight receptions for 27 yards. Switzer was designated to return from the injured list at the end of the 2019 season had the Steelers made the playoffs and had even began practicing with the team before the end of the season.
Failing to make the roster in 2020, Switzer landed on the practice squad of the Cleveland Browns in early October. After spending the year on the practice squad and not being called up to appear in any games, Switzer returned to the Browns for training camp in 2021 but was placed on the Reserve/Injured List during training camp, ending his season.
In Switzer’s retirement announcement, he stated his desire to get into coaching.
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