Plaxico Burress went into training camp this year hoping for a storybook ending to what has been an up and down career. The former Steelers number one draft pick was hoping to top off his 14-year NFL career by helping the team win the Super Bowl.
That dream ended when Burress tore his rotator cuff during camp, underwent surgery on his 36th birthday, and was placed on injured reserve.
"It's been tough," said Burress. "I am just trying to deal with it the best way I know how. That is to stay positive and remain optimistic. I have a lot of great support.
"I envisioned myself coming out and playing this year and doing great things, but obviously that hasn't happened. I am just trying to stay in good spirits."
Burress re-signed with the Steelers last November, finishing the year with only three receptions. But after a full offseason of going through OTAs, minicamp and training camp he hoped to be a big contributor for an offense that had lost receiver Mike Wallace.
Burress is disappointed he won't get to do that this season, understanding injuries are part of the game and he has been blessed with the career he has had so far.
"I view it as I played in this business for an extended amount of time," said Burress. "I have done some great things and if I never play again I am satisfied with what I have been able to accomplish and the relationships I have built over that time. I never thought I would be where I am today, 14 years later. It's all been a blessing."
Burress said time will tell whether or not he tries to come back for one more season, all of it depending on how he feels physically.
"I will see how I feel," said Burress. "I will put my family first. I don't want to put myself in a situation where I am not able to function five or 10 years down the road.
"I think that is what every player wants. You want to win as many championships as you can, have fun and get out as healthy as you can. It's like I told my wife, I am a fighter. I have fought my whole life. I am going to make a decision on how I feel."