London Fletcher hasn’t missed a single game during his career, an amazing streak of 240 consecutive contests that dates to his rookie season in 1998.
Whether that impressive run continues, however, remains unclear as the Redskins settle into the offseason. The 37-year-old wouldn’t commit one way or another in the moments after he recorded a game-high 15 tackles in Sunday’s season-ending 24-14 loss to the Seahawks.
“I’ll take the same process that I’ve taken the last four or five years,” he told reporters. “I’ll take some time to let the emotions of the season kind of get away, refresh for a little bit and then sit down with my family and make the decision as [to] whether I’ll continue to play or not.”
Fletcher is under contract for 2013 and due to earn a base salary of $5.5 million, which would make him the third highest paid player on the team. On a club facing an $18 million cap penalty, money matters could play a more significant role in who stays and who goes than usual.
Fletcher, though, is coming off one of his best seasons statistically, despite a sprained ankle he suffered against Philadelphia on Nov. 18. The injury made it difficult for the captain to practice, but he still managed to record a team-high 139 tackles while anchoring the NFL's fifth best run defense. He also picked off a career-best five passes and his three sacks were the most he’s had since 2004.
Not bad for the league's third oldest player.
But what was most impressive was the fact that he played his best football in the second half of the season on one healthy leg. In fact, four of his interceptions came after the injury.
“I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” Coach Mike Shanahan said. “He couldn’t practice, and for him to go in the games and play at that level, it kind of gave you an idea of what type of preparation he had during the week because you can’t do that without what somebody’s going to do before they do it. That’s what he did.”