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Andrew Whitworth on Ending Retirement to Join Bengals: 'I'll Never Say Never'

Erin WalshDecember 27, 2022

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 13: Former NFL player Andrew Whitworth looks on before the game between the Chicago Bears and the Washington Commanders at Soldier Field on October 13, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Former NFL offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth, who retired after winning Super Bowl LVI with the Los Angeles Rams in February, hasn't ruled out a return to the field amid rumors linking him to the Cincinnati Bengals, his other former team.

"I've said this since the day I retired, I'll never say never," Whitworth said on The Season with Peter Schrager podcast (h/t NFL.com's Grant Gordon). "There's always a chance."

Whitworth added:

"I love adventures. I love taking on chances. So, to me, there's always one. Obviously, there's a lot of things that would go into it. I mean, I'm technically under contract still with the Rams, and I'd have to, I'd have to kick off the old, uh, dust a little bit and see if I could see if these tires could still move a little bit. But you know what, I'd, I'd never say no to the option, but, you know, I don't know. It'd have to be a sit-down convo with, with [my wife] Melissa and the kids and say, 'Hey, can we do this again or not?'"

The 41-year-old began his career with the Bengals in 2006. He spent 11 seasons with the club, earning three Pro Bowl selections and starting 164 of 168 games before spending the final five years of his career with the Rams from 2017-2021. There, he earned another Pro Bowl selection and the 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

Rumors about Whitworth's potential return to the field in Cincinnati picked up steam earlier this week following the news that Bengals starting right tackle La'el Collins would likely be out for the season with a left knee injury suffered in the team's 22-18 win over the New England Patriots on Saturday.

However, Whitworth spent much of his career at left tackle, and he acknowledged during his appearance on Schrager's podcast that switching to right tackle would be a difficult transition.

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor also essentially ruled out a Whitworth return in Cincinnati.

"We have good people in the building that we trust," Taylor said, per ESPN's Ben Baby.

The Bengals are expected to replace Collins with Hakeem Adeniji, who has experience at both left and right tackle. However, he spent the majority of last season playing as the team's right guard.

Cincinnati is first in the AFC North with a 11-4 record and has already clinched a playoff berth. While Whitworth's return is unlikely, it's still possible the team adds another player to the offensive line before entering the postseason.