Posted: 10:13 am Saturday, June 18th, 2011
By Post Staff
Chad Pennington isn’t officially ready to call it quits on his 11-year NFL career. But Pennington knows it’s time to start thinking about the future after suffering his fourth shoulder injury last year and tearing his ACL in March while playing pickup basketball.
Pennington, in Charleston, W.V. yesterday to speak in front of 150 people at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event, said he will take the 2011 season off and work with Fox Sports as an in-game analyst. Pennington, a journalism major as an undergrad at Marshall, will team up with play-by-play announcer Sam Rosen this fall, a Fox spokesman said.
“I’m actually going to take this year off, get healthy and do some work for Fox Sports,” Pennington said, per the Charleston Daily Mail. “I planned to make a fourth comeback, but it doesn’t make sense to try to rehab a shoulder injury a fourth time on top of an ACL injury. I’m at a point of my career where I haven’t been patient before, I’m going to be patient now.”
Though Pennington likely wouldn’t have received much interest in the free agent market because of his injury history, but he could have been an option for the Dolphins’ as their third quarterback and mentor for Chad Henne, a role Pennington has played the last two years. He also could’ve been an option to join the coaching staff in some capacity.
Still, Pennington didn’t completely close the door on returning to football in 2012.
“I’m going to evaluate things and see where I am physically,” he said.
Pennington, who came to the Dolphins in August 2008 after being cut by the Jets, is still kicking himself for tearing his ACL in March. He said without the injury, the NFL lockout would’ve given him ample time to heal his shoulder and make another comeback.
Pennington said the injury occurred in his first pick-up basketball game since his college days at Marshall in the late 1990s.
“I wasn’t training real hard at the time because I was doing some shoulder rehab, and my legs weren’t ready to play basketball,” he said. “So it was just dumb.”
Pennington, who turns 35 this month, led the Dolphins to the biggest one-year turnaround in NFL history in 2008, helping turn a 1-15 team into an 11-5 division champion. But he suffered the same injury to his right shoulder in the past two seasons — first in Week 3 in 2009, and on his first play from scrimmage in 2010.
Pennington said he’s going to miss the camaraderie of football and the relationships he formed with his Dolphins’ teammates.
“I hang my hat on the relationships I’ve been able to form over the last 11 years and being able to be in the huddle and help lead the team,” Pennington said. “That’s what playing quarterback is all about. That’s what I’ll miss.”