A lingering medical issue will cost Navy at least depth in its linebacking corps, and cost it what could’ve been a potential starter as well.
Following practice Tuesday, Ken Niumatalolo confirmed that senior Maika Polamalu will be forced to retire from the game of football due to ongoing medical issues. Other than not being multiple concussions, the head coach declined to specify the exact nature of Polamalu’s issues.
Polamalu, the cousin of Pittsburgh Steeler great Troy Polamalu, had been working with the first-team defense, so this will serve as a sizable blow.
“It’s tough because Maika is a great kid who comes from a great family,” Niumatalolo said. “I just feel bad for him because he worked so, so hard during the summer. He was running with the ones and having a really good camp to this point.”
After beginning his Navy career as a fullback — he played in nine games at that position in 2012, scoring on a 21-yard touchdown run as part of his 39 yards rushing — he moved to linebacker the following year. In 2013, however, he played in just four games before making a significant push for the starting job beginning in the spring.
(Photo credit: Navy athletics)