One day after hosting his own Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Terrell Owens worked out for a Canadian Football League team with an eye toward a potential comeback.
The 44-year-old former wide receiver participated Sunday in a Saskatchewan Roughriders tryout session at South Pittsburg (Tenn.) High School, the Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press reported. The workout was overseen by Roughriders head coach and general manager Chris Jones.
Both Jones and Owens played college ball for Chattanooga. Jones’ hometown is South Pittsburg, 30 miles from Chattanooga, and he was there on Saskatchewan’s bye week.
Owens, who last played an NFL game in 2010, told the newspaper, “I know I’m truly blessed and I can still play the game. What I did out there today is just a small little snippet of what I can do. I just appreciate Coach for the opportunity. I guess he wanted to assess and see where I am physically.
“It’s key when you’re trying out to put your best foot forward, and I’m very pleased with what they saw and what I did out there. To be inducted into the Hall of Fame and come back and play, why not me? I know I can do it; it’s just a matter of someone giving me the opportunity.”
Jones told the Times Free Press of Owens, “I wanted to see him run a lot of different routes and work him out for a while to test his stamina. I know he can still fly on the track, but I wanted to see if he could consistently run his routes or if he got tired.
“I have tryouts whenever it’s possible so that former college and pro athletes have the chance to prove themselves and see if they can improve our team. But I’ve never been faced with anything like this. I mean, he’s 44 years old but still runs a 4.4-second 40.
“An agent reached out to me to say that T.O. was interested in a tryout. I gave him the dates we would be available, and it just happened to work out that the timing was perfect for him since he was in Chattanooga for his ceremony. I told him it would be better to come here for the tryout because there wouldn’t be the media frenzy that would be created if he crossed the border to work out in Canada.”
Jones, who coached the Edmonton Eskimos to the 2015 Grey Cup, added, “This wasn’t a publicity stunt. Terrell is in phenomenal shape and just wanted to see if he can still bring something to a professional football team.”
Owens ranks second in NFL history with 15,934 receiving yards, third with 153 touchdown catches and eighth with 1,078 receptions. He was a six-time Pro Bowl selection during 15 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals from 1996-2010.
—Field Level Media