Patriots RB Kevin Faulk retires

New England Patriots running back Kevin Faulk announced his retirement on Tuesday.

Faulk, 36, was limited to seven games in 2011 because of his recovery from a tear of his anterior cruciate ligament the year before.

"Kevin Faulk helped define the way an entire generation of Patriots fans have come to view and appreciate our brand of football," Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "He worked so hard to get better every year. He was always one of the first to arrive in the building and among the last to leave. His work ethic, enthusiasm for the game and clutch performances, especially on third down, earned him the respect of his coaches, teammates and fans alike. He retires a Patriot whose career will always be celebrated for helping deliver three Super Bowl Championships to New England."

The Patriots' second-round draft pick in 1999 out of LSU, Faulk rushed for 3,607 yards and 16 touchdowns in 161 career games with New England. He also caught 431 passes for 3,701 yards and 15 scores.

Faulk retires as the Patriots' all-time leader in career all-purpose yards (12,349) and return yards (5,041).