CINCINNATI— Would Andrew Whitworth actually return to the NFL?
NFL Network’s Peter Schrager says the former All-Pro left tackle was open to returning to Cincinnati to help the Bengals in the playoffs, but the team was not interested.
“Whitworth is retired and I’ve become very close to Whitworth and I immediately asked him, ‘Would you come back?’ And he’s like ‘Well, the door’s open.’ And Bengals sources were like ‘we’re good. We’re rolling with the guys we’ve got,'” Schrager said on the Bill Simmons Podcast. “That would have been the Eric Weddle story of this guy coming for the playoffs alone . The whole thing and he’s in good shape to play and they didn’t show much interest in signing him so I think they’re confident.”
Whitworth, 41, spent the first 11 years of his career in Cincinnati. He signed with the Rams in 2017 and played five seasons in Los Angeles. He helped the Rams get past the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI, before retiring.
Despite being away from the game for almost a year, there were plenty of people who thought he could help Bengals offensive line. Right tackle La’el Collins (ACL) is out for the season. Left tackle Jonah Williams (knee) and right guard Alex Cappa (ankle) will both miss Sunday’s game in Buffalo and possibly miss more time even if the Bengals beat the Bills.
Most people dismissed the idea of Whitworth returning to the league, especially after winning the Super Bowl last season, but Schrager made it clear that he was at least open to a possible return.
UPDATE: Whitworth denied interest in a return and responded to our article.
“Not true! I was never open to a return. I’ve only said this 100 times,” Whitworth tweeted. And for the thousandth time. I’m under contract with Rams. It’s not even a possibility!
Listen to Simmons’ full conversation with Schrager below.
Cincinnati and Buffalo meet in the divisional round this Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on CBS. The game is available through fuboTV – start your free trial here.
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