If Canton native Dan Dierdorf could beam himself into the press boxes of NFL stadiums around the country, he might keep calling games a few more decades.
But with two artificial knees, two artificial hips and a bad back, the travel required by his analyst job for CBS just became too much.
The 64-year-old Hall of Famer announced Wednesday he would retire after this season — his 43rd consecutive involved with the NFL.
Dierdorf, who starred in football and track and field at Glenwood High School (now GlenOak), played offensive line for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1971-83, earning All-Pro honors six times. He then headed straight for the broadcast booth. His three decades as an analyst marked the longest current tenure on TV.
“I’ve just never done anything else in the fall other than be in an NFL stadium,” Dierdorf said in a phone interview.
Now he hopes to spend some time in a college football stadium. Dierdorf estimates that in those 43 years, he’s attended just five games played by his alma mater, Michigan.
“I want to go tailgate with some of my old buddies,” he said.
All those years of practicing on artificial turf in St. Louis wore down his joints, and walking through airports got harder and harder. Using a cane, he’d have to sit down every 100 feet.
Dierdorf said he still feels mentally sharp, a serious concern among retired NFL players. In some ways, the physical limitations made the decision easy; he really had no choice.
Dierdorf considered retiring after last season. The hardest part was “breaking up” with play-by-play announcer Greg Gumbel and their production team, he said with a chuckle.
Making the announcement now will allow Dierdorf to thank all the team personnel who helped him over the years as he calls his final few games. This Sunday, he’ll work Jets-Ravens in Baltimore.
He still might do some broadcast work in St. Louis or radio that doesn’t require much travel.
Dierdorf was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996, and in 2008, he was recognized with the hall’s Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. Frank Gifford, John Madden and Len Dawson are the only others to receive both honors.
Allen sticks with McGloin
Matt McGloin will start at quarterback for the second week in a row for the Oakland Raiders after throwing three touchdown passes in his debut performance.
Coach Dennis Allen announced Wednesday that he was going with McGloin over Terrelle Pryor on Sunday against Tennessee.
Allen says McGloin earned another chance to start after becoming the fourth player since the 1970 merger to throw three touchdown passes and no interceptions in his first career start when he led Oakland to a 28-23 win at Houston.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is out of a hard cast and wearing a small brace on his injured left ankle.
Coach Marc Trestman says Wednesday that Cutler remains week to week with a high ankle sprain. The Bears have ruled him out for Sunday’s game at St. Louis, and Trestman would not say if he expects his quarterback to play the following week at Minnesota.
Cutler tore his left groin muscle against Washington on Oct. 20 and missed the next game at Green Bay two weeks later. He returned earlier than expected against Detroit on Nov. 10, only to injure his ankle in the first half and sit out the game’s final drive.
Redskins lose receiver
Washington Redskins receiver Leonard Hankerson is done for the season with a left knee injury.
Coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday that Hankerson will have surgery on a damaged lateral collateral ligament and will likely require “a few months” of recovery.
Around the league
Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera says an MRI on defensive end Charles Johnson’s right knee revealed no torn ligaments. Johnson has a sprained knee. … The Oakland Raiders placed first-round pick D.J. Hayden on season-ending injured reserve with an injured groin. The Raiders also added linebacker Miles Burris to the active roster and re-signed defensive lineman Brian Sanford. … Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta returned to the practice field after being sidelined since July with a hip injury. Pitta dislocated and fractured his hip on July 27 during training camp. He was carted off the field and had surgery that night to repair the damage. … The New York Jets signed free-agent linebacker Jermaine Cunningham, a second-round pick by the New England Patriots in 2010. … The quarterback carousel in Minnesota is staying put for another week as Christian Ponder will be the starter at Green Bay. … The Indianapolis Colts signed running back Chris Rainey to the active roster. The 5-foot-9, 198-pound back played previously with Pittsburgh, which took Rainey in the fifth round of the 2012 draft. … The Buffalo Bills signed offensive tackle J.J. Unga off the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad. … The Detroit Lions added tight end Dorin Dickerson to their active roster and running back Steven Miller to their practice squad. The Lions say they also are placing running back Montell Owens on injured reserve and releasing tight end Martell Webb from the practice squad.
NFL fines Brooks
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks was fined $15,570 by the NFL for his hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees last Sunday. That is the standard amount for such hits to the head and neck area.
Brooks leveled Brees, forcing a lost fumble. The tackle left Brees with blood on his chin.