In the immediate aftermath of Super Bowl LIII, Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth was asked whether or not there was any consideration that he would retire. While the 37-year-old offensive lineman was still playing at a high level, he had just completed his 13th season in the league.
"I don't know. Some guys in the locker room were begging me to not say anything like that, so I have no idea. I really don't," Whitworth said the night of Feb. 3. "I still love playing. I still love the game. I still feel great. I still play at a high level and who knows, we'll see. I'll let the offseason play out and kind of see what's best for the franchise, what's best for me and see what happens."
Apparently it really didn't take that long. While Whitworth sent out a tweet confirming he'd be back for Season 14 earlier this week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Whitworth actually informed the Rams two days after Super Bowl LIII that he'd be returning for 2019.
Head coach Sean McVay essentially confirmed as much when speaking about Whitworth at the Combine in Indianapolis this week.
"As far as for Andrew, you know you'd like to make it dramatic with the nice announcement. The good thing about Andrew is we knew that right after we were walking off the field I got the sense from him that there wasn't, he certainly knew he wasn't done right away. I think he played his best football down the stretch," McVay said.
"I thought there was just an edge that he played with and a confidence that showed up and going into his 27th year, you know, I think he's going to still be ready to go," McVay added with a chuckle.
So why the tweet this week? Speaking at the Read Across America Day event at 112th Street Elementary School on Friday, Whitworth told therams.com it was more about the situation the Rams' brass was about to walk into in Indy.
"I think for me, it really just never felt like I was leaving. It never felt like it was over. I always felt a desire — even after the game and dealing with losing the Super Bowl. I never really felt like, hey, I want to be away from this," Whitworth said. "And honestly, I just kind of sent something out this week because the reality was, once I kind of talked to some of the Rams people, that they were headed to the Combine. And it's like, hey, I know they're going to get just badgered with questions about this. And it's like, you know what? I'd rather be the one who answers those questions than them. So I just decided to personally send something out to where people knew that wasn't really an issue or something that anybody had to worry about."
With Whitworth in tow, left tackle is one position the Rams do not have to address for the 2019 season.
Jamie Han contributed reporting.