Tony Gonzalez, probably the best tight end in NFL history, won't play in a Super Bowl.

Gonzalez, who returned to play one more season after considering retirement after 2012, won't even get a chance to earn his second playoff victory in 17 seasons. The Falcons (2-9) are mathematically eliminated from making the playoffs with five games to go. Selected by the Chiefs in the first round of the 1997 draft, he played in Kansas City through the 2008 season.

What was supposed to be one last run at the Super Bowl before Gonzalez retires instead has turned into playing out the string. Gonzalez thus has been confronted with the reality of the end of his career sooner than expected, but he said he has no regrets.

"I can't complain about anything," Gonzalez said. "Obviously, the Super Bowl - I'm sure those questions are going to be asked a lot more as it gets closer to the end. But for me, why would I want to change anything? "Of course I want to win a Super Bowl, but at the same time I'm very happy with what I've accomplished and the relationships I've made over the years. Everything happens for a reason, and hopefully it makes me a better person in the process."

Gonzalez, 37, said he has played football for close to 30 years. Unless he's voted to the Pro Bowl, which is a possibility, his final game will be Dec. 29 against the Panthers at the Georgia Dome.