Andrew Whitworth injury history and updates

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

When the LA Rams penned the signing of veteran free agent offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth to anchor the blind side of new Head Coach Sean McVay’s offensive line, many viewed the move as a segue until the team could find a compelling and talented replacement in the NFL Draft. Little did they know that he would become a key player in one of the most successful runs to begin an NFL head coaching career.

But for Andrew Whitworth, he was not out to set records or become the Ageless One. He was simply taking it one year at a time.

After being drafted as the 55th rookie taken in the 2006 NFL Draft, Andrew Whitworth completed 11 NFL seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. He started all but four games for the Bengals in his first year and would be their blind-side offensive tackle for the rest of his career there. He was a three-time Pro Bowler and an All-Pro offensive tackle who the Bengals allowed to test the free agency market.

And the LA Rams signed him.  In his first year with the Rams offensive line, he was once again awarded the distinction of All-Pro. After the 2020 season, as he prepared to compete in his fifth NFL season, he was rather active in the NFL talk show circuit. Perhaps one of the most insightful interviews he has given in my memory was this one where we talks to Jim Rome.

Five NFL seasons later, the 40-year-old offensive lineman continues to shine as a starter. At some point, the mind will still be willing, but the body will no longer be able to answer the bell. Will he be able to answer the bell in 2022? Or will he opt to retire?  Will his recent injury history, will he stick it out for one more season with the Rams.

Andrew Whitworth injury history

Andrew Whitworth Knee/Ankle Injury, 2021

While the LA Rams have been quite pleased with Andrew Whitworth’s dependable and trusted performance as the starting left tackle, they certainly were not pleased that his ankle and knee were rolled up on in the Wildcard Round of the NFL Playoffs. The injury’s most recent report from HC Sean McVay indicates that Whitworth’s current status is ‘Day to Day.

On Thursday, January 20, 2021, HC Sean McVay stated:

"(There is) “Some swelling in that knee and that ankle. (it’s a) miracle (the injury wasn’t more serious). – per HC Sean McVay as report by LA Rams reporter Stu Jackson"

The latest diagnostic imagery was positive, placing Whitworth in play to potentially play in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. Whitworth is still dealing with swelling in both his knee and ankle joints.

Divisional Round

Andrew Whitworth has been ruled OUT for the Divisional Round contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

That means that the LA Rams must win and advance to the NFC Championship game to Andrew Whitworth back on the football field.

Jan. 28, 2022 UPDATE:

The LA Rams reported on January 28, 2022, that offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth is “Good to go” in the NFC Championship Game. Whitworth was a full participant in both Thursday and Friday practices.

Andrew Whitworth Knee Injury, 2021

The venerable starting left offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth had a difficult game in Week 7 against the Detroit Lions. The post-game report was that Whitworth had ‘banged up his knee a little bit.’ As a result, he sat out Week 8, giving backup offensive tackle Joe Noteboom a chance to start. Whitworth returned the following week.

Andrew Whitworth MCL injury, 2020

The LA Rams were getting an incredible season out of starting left tackle Whitworth until they faced the Seattle Seahawks. The injury occurred in the second quarter, with just 1:33 left to play. The Rams were up by seven points but wanted to increase the lead when Jared Goff was sacked.

During that play, Whitworth was riding his blocking assignment around the wheel. But he did not see linebacker K.J. Wright closing in on Jared Goff from the right side. He missed Goff, but his momentum carried him at full speed into Whitworths left knee. The video replay is not for the squeamish.

"” “If he hits me a little earlier, or a little higher,” Whitworth said the next day, “or just not at that exact moment, it would have probably been nothing but a bad bruise.”-per interview with Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop"

After the play, Whitworth was on the ground wincing in pain, and could not stand up. The injury seemed rather severe when the cart rolled out onto the football field to transport Whitworth to the locker room.

The diagnosis was a torn MCL. That was a far better diagnosis than originally feared.

Even with less knee damage, it was still serious enough where it typically ends the season for a big offensive tackle. But Whitworth vowed to return if the Rams could make the playoffs. The Rams did, and Whitworth was good to his word. His return was an emotional boost that carried the Rams past the Seahawks and into the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.

Whitworth spoke at length in the offseason about his future plans and rehabbing to come back from what some believed to be a season-ending injury.

Andrew Whitworth left Patella injury, 2012

Whitworth reportedly injured his Patella Tendon in his left knee early in the 2021 season. This type of injury is something referred to as Jumper’s Knee. While that in itself is not a debilitating injury, the fact that he played through the injury without medical treatment. That resulted in ever-increasing severe pain and inflammation, which became so bad that it required surgery after the season.

Rehabbing from surgery sidelined him throughout all of the 2013 training camp and even to the point of missing the 2013 NFL season opener.  He would go on to play and start 14 games that year.