Rams’ Andrew Whitworth reveals motivation to play at age 40 and why he wouldn’t retire after 2020 season – CBS Sports

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Andrew Whitworth continues to defy Father Time, starting at left tackle for the Los Angeles Rams — and playing at a high level — into his late 30s. Whitworth was relatively healthy until last season, when he suffered a torn MCL and damaged PCL that caused him to miss seven games (Whitworth had missed only three games since the start of the 2009 season prior to the injury). 

A knee injury like the one Whitworth suffered could have been career ending, especially for a player at 39 years of age. But Whitworth had plenty of motivation to return, and made a surprising comeback for the postseason.

“I don’t know if miraculous is the word — more like maybe a foolhardy comeback, and try to play a little bit in the playoffs, which was really just an amazing experience,” Whitworth said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “I knew when I had that much hunger to get back on the field, that I wanted to still play football.”

Whitworth clearly didn’t play at the same level in the playoffs as he did in the regular season, which was expected after a major knee injury. He allowed 10 pressures and eight hurries in 61 pass-blocking snaps last postseason, the 16.4% pressure percentage allowed significantly higher than the 1.8% pressure percentage allowed in the regular season (326 pass-blocking snaps, six pressures allowed). 

The quick recovery is why Whitworth decided to return for a 16th season. He will turn 40 in December — and could become the first offensive lineman to start a game at 40 since Ray Brown in 2003. 

“It’s like repeating a song. i’m just going to take it year by year and think about (returning) after the season and usually I don’t think very long,” Whitworth said. “One of these days when I spend some time actually thinking about it, y’all will have to get nervous. 

“As soon as rehab went really well and we knew we were in a great spot, I knew I wanted to keep playing the game. It was a pretty easy decision… If I happen to play at 40, it will be a really cool feat.”