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Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Ryan Smith retires from football

Ryan Smith dives for the goal line to score his second touchdown against the B.C. Lions during the CFL Western Semifinal in Vancouver, B.C. on Nov. 13, 2016.
Ryan Smith dives for the goal line to score his second touchdown against the B.C. Lions during the CFL Western Semifinal in Vancouver, B.C. on Nov. 13, 2016. Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG – Winnipeg Blue Bombers wide receiver Ryan Smith has decided to call it a career following three seasons in the CFL.

The 25-year-old American joined the Bombers as a free agent during the 2016 off-season. He caught 53 passes for 488 yards and a touchdown in 11 games last year. Smith missed a six week stretch with a lower-body injury. His best performance of the season came in Winnipeg’s 32-31 loss to the BC Lions in the Western Semifinal where he put up 106 yards on seven receptions for two touchdowns.

“Although this was an extremely difficult decision, it is one that I am ultimately comfortable with,” Smith said in a statement.

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“I have the opportunity to pursue interests outside of football and I just feel this is the time for me to step away.”

Prior to joining the Bombers, Smith spent two seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He recorded a career best seven touchdowns and 991 yards in 2015.

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Smith grew up in Wahpeton, ND and played college football with the North Dakota State Bisons.