The linebacker with 100 percent attendance says there’s a 99 percent chance he’s done.
Washington Redskins captain London Fletcher, who has never missed a game in 16 NFL seasons, announced Wednesday that he plans to retire at the end of the year, the conclusion of a remarkable career for the undersized, undrafted player from a Division III school.
“I felt like I accomplished everything I can accomplish in the National Football League from a players’ standpoint,” Fletcher said. “Obviously everybody wants to go out like Ray Lewis with the Super Bowl parade ... but it wasn’t in the cards for me.”
Fletcher left a tiny opening that he could return, but age has finally started to catch up with the player who always seemed ageless. He’s 38, and his tackles and playing time have declined this season. He’s set to be a free agent, and he’s the leader of a struggling defense that is one of many reasons the Redskins (3-11) have clinched their fifth last-place finish in six years.
“I’m about 99 percent certain that this will be my last season,” Fletcher said. “I’ve got to leave at least one percent in case I change my mind, but it’s really just about having another conversation with my wife. ... I want to put on a nice suit when I go to that 100 percent.”
Fletcher, listed at 5-foot-10, has answered the call for all 254 regular season games since joining the St. Louis Rams out of John Carroll in 1998, the longest consecutive games streak for a defensive player since the 1970 merger and fourth all time behind Jeff Feagles (352), Brett Favre (299) and Jim Marshall (282). He’s started 213 consecutive games — the longest such run by a linebacker in NFL history — over four seasons with the Rams, five with the Buffalo Bills and seven with the Redskins.
NFL suspends Browner
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner was suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
The suspension was announced Wednesday and is the second in two seasons for Browner. He was suspended four games last season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Briggs might play
The Chicago Bears remain optimistic Lance Briggs will play this weekend at Philadelphia. The seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker practiced Wednesday on a limited basis as he tries to work his way back from a small fracture in his left shoulder and help the Bears lock up a playoff spot.
Coach Marc Trestman remained hopeful Briggs will play but stopped short of declaring him ready for the Eagles.
The Bears held receiver Brandon Marshall out of practice because of soreness in his quadriceps and hamstring, but Trestman said he’ll practice today.
Around the league
The Tennessee Titans placed cornerback Coty Sensabaugh on injured reserve with a foot injury and promoted cornerback Khalid Wooten from the practice squad. The Titans signed cornerback George Baker and defensive tackle Kurt Taufa’asau to the practice squad. … Running back Darren McFadden returned to practice for the Oakland Raiders. … St. Louis Rams rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin did not practice, but is no longer in a walking boot. Coach Jeff Fisher says Austin is improving but remains day to day. Running back Daryl Richardson (thigh) also did not practice . … The Kansas City Chiefs signed tight end Richard Gordon, placed tight end Dominique Jones on the reserve/nonfootball illness and signed wide receiver Fred Williams and tight end Jake Byrne to the practice squad, released wide receiver Jheranie Boyd from the practice squad and placed tight end Demetrius Harris on the practice squad injured reserve list. … Jacksonville Jaguars center Brad Meester is retiring after 14 seasons. … Matt Schaub will start at quarterback on Sunday for the Houston Texans.