CINCINNATI — Would Andrew Whitworth actually come back to the NFL?
Peter Schrager of NFL Network says the former All-Pro left tackle was open to returning to Cincinnati to help the Bengals in the playoffs, but the team wasn’t interested.
“Whitworth is retired and I’ve become really close with Whitworth and I asked him straight up, ‘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 got,'” Schrager said on the Bill Simmons Podcast. “That would’ve been the Eric Weddle story of this guy’s coming on just for the playoffs. The whole thing and he’s in 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 in Los Angeles for five seasons. He helped the Rams get past the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI, before retiring.
Despite being away from the game for nearly a year, there were plenty of people that thought he could help a banged up 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 could miss more time, even if the Bengals do 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 having interest in a return and responded to our article.
“Not true! I wasn’t ever open to a return. I have only said this 100 times,” Whitworth tweeted. “And for the 1,000th time. Im under contract with Rams. It’s not even a possibility! Nor could it be discussed.”
Listen to Simmons’ entire 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 via fuboTV—.
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