Indianapolis Colts safety Khari Willis announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday, according to Zak Keefer, a writer for The Athletic.
News: In a bit of a stunner, Colts safety Khari Willis is retiring. His plan is to devote himself to ministry fulltime. A fourth-round draft pick in 2019 out of Michigan State, Willis has started 33 games over the past three seasons, piling up 219 tackles and four interceptions.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) June 15, 2022
Willis made the announcement via his Instagram and talked about turning his attention to a career in ministry:
“I have elected to officially retire from the NFL as I endeavor to devote the remainder of my life to the further advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Willis said in his retirement announcement post.
A former fourth-round pick in 2019 out of Michigan State, Willis started in 33 games and produced 219 combined tackles (161 solo), 3.5 sacks and four interceptions through his three seasons in Indianapolis.
Even with Willis’ sudden retirement, the Colts still appear to be in good shape with their safety depth. Indianapolis made several off-season acquisitions at that position, including adding veteran Rodney McLeod, Armani Watts and rookie third-round pick Nick Cross. According to Keefer, the Colts ‘like what they’ve seen from Cross so far.’
Let's just say this: Colts are really happy they traded up for Nick Cross. They like what they've seen so far from him (he got some reps w/ 1s in minicamp) and they think he can be a difference-maker.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) June 15, 2022
Also, don't forget how well Blackmon was playing last year before the injury.
Colts head coach Frank Reich expressed his appreciation of Willis’ play and leadership throughout his three seasons with the organization.
"...missed in our locker room as will his play on Sundays. I admire and respect his decision to transition into the next stage of his life and ministry and my prayers will always be with him." - Frank Reich @WISH_TV— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) June 15, 2022
“We’re thankful and appreciative of Khari’s contributions to the Colts both on and off the field over the last three seasons,” Reich said. “Khari’s character, leadership, and professionalism will be missed in our locker room as will his play on Sundays. I admire and respect his decision to transition into the next stage of his life and ministry and my prayers will always be with him.”