Ever since London Fletcher announced he was all but certain about retiring after the season, the linebacker left a nagging one percent open to debate.
Fletcher said then and has since maintained he is 99 percent sure he will retire after his 256th consecutive regular season game.
Maybe he didn’t want to create a Favreian dilemma. Maybe he just couldn’t wrap his head around life without football.
In the locker room at Redskins Park on Thursday, Fletcher shined a little light on what 99 percent means to him.
“It’s 99 percent,” Fletcher said. “I’ve had a great career. Sixteen years, man. I got no regrets.
“I know it’s highly unlikely I’ll play another 16 games somewhere. That ain’t happening. If it’s a team, maybe 10, eight ballgames left, six ballgames left, and it’s the right opportunity, maybe, but I’m happy with the way my career has gone.”
Fletcher is coming to terms with his lasts.
He said when he watched film this week he thought of it as the last time. When he practiced yesterday, he thought of it as the last Thursday practice.
But he said he doesn’t know how he’ll respond to retirement until he’s finished with football.
“You don’t know how much you really miss something until it’s gone,” he said.
“I’m sure come the time when I would normally start my prep for offseason and for the season my body will start going through some withdrawals… Come July, the grass starts smelling different to me. My body starts feeling like hitting somebody, so it’ll be a different thing that I’ll have to deal with.”
Although he’s given himself an out if the itch to grab a helmet lures him back, Fletcher said his experience with the home crowd at FedExField last Sunday against Dallas brought closure.
“The way everything kind of transpired the other day… the way the fans treated me, it’d be extremely difficult to do it again,” the linebacker said.
“It’s almost like, even though it was a loss, I’m not looking at it from a loss standpoint. I’m looking at it from the way I’ve been treated by the fans and everybody who’s come out and said different things, congratulated me when I announced when this is very likely – more than likely – going to be it.
“It feels like it’s the right time.”
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