Could an old friend be coming to the rescue to help out his former team? The Cincinnati Bengals have already clinched a playoff berth and are gearing up for another march to the Super Bowl, but it did hit a snag last week when starting right tackle La'el Collins suffered a season-ending ACL tear in the win over New England. That leaves a significant hole along the Cincy O-line. One option to help fill it would be to see if former All-Pro tackle Andrew Whitworth would come out of retirement to slot in at that spot.
"I've said this since the day I retired, I'll never say never," Whitworth said on "The Season with Peter Schrager" podcast, via NFL.com. "There's always a chance."
Whitworth spent the first 11 seasons of his NFL career with the Bengals before signing with the Los Angeles Rams in 2016. He'd finish out his career in L.A. and had a storybook ending last season that featured his first Super Bowl title, which came against his former Cincinnati team. While that's essentially the perfect way to go out, coming out of retirement to help his former franchise to possibly another title may just be tempting enough to attempt.
"I love adventures," Whitworth said. "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 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?'"
In retirement, Whitworth has been working as an analyst for Prime Video's "Thursday Night Football" broadcast. However, the Thursday night schedule does wrap up this week with the Cowboys and Titans, so Whitworth would technically be free of that obligation as soon as this coming Friday.
Of course, it's also worth pointing out that the Bengals would be asking Whitworth to not only come out of retirement but play a position that is a bit different than the one he's accustomed to, as he primarily served as a left tackle. Currently, Cincinnati seems to be rolling with backup Hakeem Adeniji following Collins' injury, but this is a fascinating hypothetical that could quickly turn into a reality with Whitworth.