Josh McCown had announced his retirement from the NFL prior to the start of the 2019 season and had planned on joining ESPN as an analyst and coaching high school football in Charlotte.
Instead, the Philadelphia Eagles came calling when they needed someone to back up Carson Wentz after Nate Sudfeld went down with an injury. Months later, McCown finds himself playing quarterback in a playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks after Wentz suffered a concussion during the game.
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Though he didn’t get the win, McCown was 18-for-24 with 174 passing yards but was sacked six times. The 40-year-old acknowledged in the postgame press conference Sunday that it has been a long road back to playing while initially coming to grips that he was going to retire from the league for good.
“When you come into a game and put everything you can into trying to win the game and it doesn’t get done, it’s painful,” he said. “From my standpoint, it feels like as a quarterback you want to do more. You feel like you let people down. It’s a sick feeling.”
He then talked about his career, which started in 2002 with the Arizona Cardinals. He played for eight teams during his career.
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“My wife and my family have moved around a lot and they’ve been there for me. My mom and dad, too,” McCown said. “To go out there and get to play in a playoff game was special. I can’t thank them enough for their support. It was a heck of a ride. I left it all out there. I know that much.”
He appeared in three games during the regular season and said he wasn’t sure whether he was planning on playing in 2020.
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“It’s different playing at 40,” he said. “Your body talks to you a lot. Still, I think more than anything it was fun to be out there for sure.”