NFL Week 7: Is 43 too old to be playing pro football?
When 43-year-old Vinny Testaverde led the Carolina Panthers to victory last week, he became the oldest starting QB to win a game in NFL history. But it also took a pair of injuries to Jake Delhomme and David Carr for Testaverde to get another shot at NFL glory.
It’s very rare someone gets to strap on the pads at age 40 or above – Atlanta’s Morten Andersen is 47 and threatening to break George Blanda’s record of playing in the NFL at age 48. But kicking doesn’t take nearly the toll on the body as lining up under center.
Even regardless of ability, the NFL shuns the older set. The escalating veteran’s minimum contract keeps kickers like Andersen sitting by the phone waiting for a desperate team to call (hello, Falcons), and the dressing room can be a lonely place for a 40-something surrounded by people nearly half his age. Still, it beats mowing the lawn.