UNC LB Joe Jackson suffers career-ending neck injury

Joe Jackson, a junior linebacker at North Carolina, has suffered a neck injury that will end his playing career, the school announced on Thursday.

He sustained the injury during the Tar Heels’ season-opening 17-13 loss against South Carolina. Jackson had been listed as a starting outside linebacker entering that game. He had been a reserve player during his first two seasons.

“After talking with my family and the UNC doctors, I have decided it is in my best interest to stop playing football,” Jackson, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., said in a statement. “It was a difficult decision and I appreciate the support of my teammates and coaches.”

Before his injury he made four tackles against South Carolina. He played in eight games during the 2014 season and finished with seven tackles.

UNC also announced on Thursday that Cameron Albright, a reserve freshman safety, will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. He underwent surgery earlier this month on his right knee.