Cincinnati Bengals Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who turned 34 a few weeks ago, is looking at Saturday's playoff game against Pittsburgh through a different lens than his younger teammates.
"You know the clock's ticking, so there's less and less opportunities," the 10-year veteran said. "You're more beat up. You're in less good shape body-wise than a long time ago when you feel you've got a lot of these left in your career.
"But it's also rewarding," he added. "This will be my sixth appearance in 10 years. There's a lot of guys that play that long that are still looking for one."
Even though Whitworth signed a one-year contract extension through 2016 in September, he knows that doesn't guarantee that Saturday night won't be his last playoff game, or last game of any kind in a Bengals uniform.
"You never know," he said. "You don't know what the team will do. Not in a bad way, but there's decisions that have to be made every year. Every year I go to camp with the mentality that I have to win my job. I don't take for granted that I'll win my job next year. I'll have to go earn it. Right now, the only thing I've got to worry about is playing this week."