IRVINE, Calif. – Rams running back Sony Michel is retiring, head coach Sean McVay announced after Saturday's training camp practice.
McVay said he and Michel had a conversation Saturday morning, during which Michel informed him of his decision.
"I thought just being back around him in these last couple of days, you just appreciate the influence that he has, the way that this guy works," McVay said. "I think when you look at what he's done going back to Georgia, throughout his rookie year when he broke my heart in '18 and did a great job in New England, thought he was a hugely instrumental piece for our Super Bowl team a couple years ago. The epitome of a pro, great competitor, and his next chapter is going to be exciting. He's got so many that gifts he can offer to people. We'll wish him the best. It's a bummer, but his body is feeling like it's talking to him, and I have nothing but respect and appreciation for the competitor that he is. Love Sony, and we'll continue to stay in touch."
McVay said during that conversation, Michel let him how he was feeling physically and what some of his thoughts were. McVay said the important thing is Michel has clarity and feels at peace with his decision.
"I was sad for us, but I was happy for him," McVay said. "I know he gave a lot to this game and he can be really proud of everything that he's done. I'm looking forward to seeing what's next in his next chapter."
The 28-year-old Michel wraps up his NFL career with 779 carries for 3,243 yards and 18 touchdowns across five seasons – three with the Patriots, one with the Rams and one with the Chargers.
He also added 56 catches for 439 yards and two touchdowns while starting in 35 of 65 career games played and was a two-time Super Bowl champion, winning Super Bowl LIII with the Patriots and Super Bowl LVI with the Rams.
The former University of Georgia standout originally entered the league as a first-round draft pick (31st overall) by the Patriots in 2018.
With Michel retiring, McVay said the Rams will look to add someone to the running back room.
"So all four of those guys right now at running back (Cam Akers, Kyren Williams, Zach Evans and Ronnie Rivers) have done a good job," McVay said. "But I do think whether it's a veteran or not, you definitely probably need to add a fifth body to that room, maybe even a sixth. So we'll look at somebody."