ESPN’s Chris Mortensen Hopes to Return for NFL Coverage

By Mark Joyella 

ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen, who announced in January he had been diagnosed with Stage IV throat cancer, said Wednesday “I received very encouraging news last week,” and that his focus has moved from treatment to recovery.

Mortensen, who has been on leave for several months, said he hopes “to participate in NFL coverage on a limited basis as the 2016 season gets underway.”

“It has been a long and difficult road for Mort since he was diagnosed, so hearing his positive news is very encouraging,” said ESPN senior coordinating producer Seth Markman. “As we have said all along, when Mort is able to return, his chair on our set will be waiting. He is a beloved member of our ESPN team and we have really missed him these past few months.”


Mortensen said the cancer was treated with intensive chemotherapy and radiation and “has been virtually reduced to zero detection of the disease.” He will undergo further exams and scans over the next few months, as he works to regain strength and some of the weight he has lost.

“My wife Micki and I want to express our deepest gratitude and humility from the outpouring of love we have received from family, friends, colleagues, the NFL community and beyond, as well as ESPN’s unwavering support,” Mortensen said in a statement. “Our hope remains rooted in our deep faith in God and we continue to be grateful to our caring team at M.D. Anderson and my local personal physicians.”