Sun. May 22nd, 2022

Following a breakout 2019 season in which he started 13 games and was named an All-ACC honorable mention, Clemson’s Justin Foster went into the offseason hoping to improve as a senior and possibly take a crack at the NFL. Instead, he tested positive for COVID-19 in June and never played another snap. After nearly nine months dealing with long-term complications from COVID-19, combined with asthma and allergies, the former four-star recruit announced plans to retire from football stating that “while my situation has improved, I am not in the position now, nor do I see that position soon, to step back on the field.”Foster is planning to pursue a career in business similar to his father, who owns a trucking company outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, with the hopes of one day starting his own trucking company in the Upstate.WYFF News 4 Sports Director Marc Whiteman spoke with Foster via Zoom, who said that he’s “still dealing with the day-to-day shortness of breath.”For me, it’s frustrating every day,” Foster said. “Two weeks I might feel like I’m getting better, and then it goes back to the same thing again of where a simple workout or jog or walk around the neighborhood is very challenging. Sometimes, I lay down at night, sitting there breathing, ‘ am I going to be OK? Am I going to be able to sleep through the night?”Foster said all throughout last season, he and the coaches held out hope he’d be able to return to action at some point, but that “there was never a time that it was like ‘OK I feel great, I can go back out there.'””For a good day for me, I was probably at 30-40% of normal,” he said. “Shortness of breath was the main thing, obviously had a lot of chest pains with that and asthma attacks, but if it was walking upstairs or starting a workout, I could hardly get through any of the workouts.”Foster said the encouragement of his teammates and coaches helped him get through a mentally challenging season away from football, but came to the conclusion he wouldn’t be able to continue his playing career after many months of consultations with doctors.”Some of the doctors had mentioned they don’t know if it can be a month from now or a year from now,” the 22-year-old said. “But from test results and the way my breathing is it seems like it’s going to be a longer period of time than we would like.”Despite the difficulty of ending a career opportunity he’d been pursuing since the third grade, Foster is at peace with his decision to retire.”I have other goals and dreams in life,” he said. “I don’t know when I’ll be back healthy, I don’t feel that I’ll be healthy in the next eight months or so to be back playing. It took me a while to be at peace with it but at the end of the day, I just take the energy and transition it to other things I want to do and start accomplishing other goals in life.”

Following a breakout 2019 season in which he started 13 games and was named an All-ACC honorable mention, Clemson’s Justin Foster went into the offseason hoping to improve as a senior and possibly take a crack at the NFL. Instead, he tested positive for COVID-19 in June and never played another snap.

After nearly nine months dealing with long-term complications from COVID-19, combined with asthma and allergies, the former four-star recruit announced plans to retire from football stating that “while my situation has improved, I am not in the position now, nor do I see that position soon, to step back on the field.”

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Foster is planning to pursue a career in business similar to his father, who owns a trucking company outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, with the hopes of one day starting his own trucking company in the Upstate.

WYFF News 4 Sports Director Marc Whiteman spoke with Foster via Zoom, who said that he’s “still dealing with the day-to-day shortness of breath.

“For me, it’s frustrating every day,” Foster said. “Two weeks I might feel like I’m getting better, and then it goes back to the same thing again of where a simple workout or jog or walk around the neighborhood is very challenging. Sometimes, I lay down at night, sitting there breathing, ‘[thinking] am I going to be OK? Am I going to be able to sleep through the night?”

Foster said all throughout last season, he and the coaches held out hope he’d be able to return to action at some point, but that “there was never a time that it was like ‘OK I feel great, I can go back out there.'”

“For a good day for me, I was probably at 30-40% of normal,” he said. “Shortness of breath was the main thing, obviously had a lot of chest pains with that and asthma attacks, but if it was walking upstairs or starting a workout, I could hardly get through any of the workouts.”

Foster said the encouragement of his teammates and coaches helped him get through a mentally challenging season away from football, but came to the conclusion he wouldn’t be able to continue his playing career after many months of consultations with doctors.

“Some of the doctors had mentioned they don’t know if it can be a month from now or a year from now,” the 22-year-old said. “But from test results and the way my breathing is it seems like it’s going to be a longer period of time than we would like.”

Despite the difficulty of ending a career opportunity he’d been pursuing since the third grade, Foster is at peace with his decision to retire.

“I have other goals and dreams in life,” he said. “I don’t know when I’ll be back healthy, I don’t feel that I’ll be healthy in the next eight months or so to be back playing. It took me a while to be at peace with it but at the end of the day, I just take the energy and transition it to other things I want to do and start accomplishing other goals in life.”

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