GREEN BAY – Former Packers offensive lineman T.J. Lang announced his retirement from the NFL on social media Friday.
A fourth-round pick for Green Bay back in 2009 out of Eastern Michigan, Lang cracked the Packers' starting lineup full-time at guard in 2011 and went on to start a total of 94 regular-season games for Green Bay, 105 including postseason.
Following the 2016 season, Lang signed as a free agent with his home-state Detroit Lions and played the last two years there.
He finishes his career having received two Pro Bowl selections, one in 2016 with the Packers and again the following year with the Lions. Many teammates in Green Bay contended his initial Pro Bowl recognition came considerably late. He'd been named a Pro Bowl alternate in both 2014 and 2015 when many argued he deserved to be on the roster.
"We want to congratulate T.J. on a wonderful career, one that he earned every step of the way through hard work and dedication," said Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst. "During his eight seasons in Green Bay, T.J. was a consummate professional who played a great role both with his play and as a terrific teammate and leader. We wish T.J., his wife, Laura, and their family all the best."
In his social media announcement, Lang thanked the Packers "for taking a chance on a 21-year-old kid and giving me the opportunity and patience to grow into a man and reach my full potential as a football player."
As a rookie, Lang got his first NFL starts at the tackle positions as an injury replacement but then settled in at guard two years later. After the 2012 season, he switched from right guard to left guard and played the rest of his career there. He also filled in as an emergency center at one point, so he played all five positions on the offensive line in an NFL game.
Not long after he became a full-time starter, Lang grew into a respected veteran on the Packers' offensive line and in the locker room as a whole. His toughness was noted often, as he played through numerous injuries, missing only four starts total over the six years he was a regular starter in Green Bay.
Lang's announcement is the third in recent weeks for longtime Packers and fan favorites, following the retirements of fullback John Kuhn and receiver Jordy Nelson earlier this month.
A fourth-round pick for Green Bay back in 2009 out of Eastern Michigan, Lang started a total of 94 regular-season games for Green Bay, 105 including postseason.