At age 39 it appears Charles Woodson is as good as he’s ever been.
The Raiders safety is tied for third in the NFL with five interceptions, has been in on 60 tackles and has eight passes defensed.
In this past weekend’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs he was all over the field, forcing a fumble, recovering two – the first time he’s done that in his career – and returning one 38 yards.
Woodson now has appeared in 250 regular-season NFL games, the most of any active defensive player in the league.
Now, with just four games remaining in this season as the Raiders (5-7) prepare to play the AFC West-leading Broncos (10-2) in Denver Sunday, many are wondering if Woodson might return for a 19th season at the age of 40.
Woodson – a respected, productive leader on the Oakland defense – isn’t committing to anything just yet.
“It’s hard to say one way or the other,” he told Peter King of Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback this week in a long, question-and-answer feature. “For one, I don’t want to feel like I am committed to one way or the other. If you say you’re coming back, people start talking and if you say you are retiring, they hold you to that. So I would rather just leave it open and then after the season relax a little bit, unwind and see where your mind takes you.
“I just want my mind to take me one way or the other at the end of the season. I’ll know it, whenever that time comes to make that decision and figure it out. In my heart I’ll know it.”
Woodson told King that while others might be amazed he can still play at a high level at his age, he is not.
“I’m not surprised at all,” he said. “I was born to do this.”