It’s been some three months since Terrell Owens was rightfully enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But unlike the rest of his Hall of Fame class, Owens skipped the ceremony in Canton, Ohio, in part because he felt he had been mistreated by the media during his career.
On Thursday night, Owens, who spent his first eight seasons with the 49ers, was at Levi’s Stadium to receive his Hall of Fame ring.
“This is awesome,” Owens, in his gold Hall of Fame jacket, said before the game, via the Associated Press. “This is an opportunity to give something to the fans. Ever since I left in 2003 and went on and did some great things, but this is where it started.”
As for second thoughts about no-showing in Canton, Owens has none.
“No regrets at all,” he said. “If anybody knows who Terrell Owens is outside the media portrayal of me throughout the course of my career. They know what I did. I stand by what I did. … When they tried to bring other things outside my body of work and my accomplishments, that was an issue for me. My stats spoke loudly. They spoke for themselves.”
As recently as this June, Owens, at the age of 44, ran a blistering 4.4 40-yard dash. As NFL.com’s Ralph Warner pointed out at the time, T.O.’s time would put him in a four-way fourth-place tie for the fastest time among the crop of wideouts at the 2018 NFL combine. One caveat: Those players all ran on turf while Owens was on a track. Either way, it’s wholly impressive.
And hours after giving his Pro Football Hall of Fame acceptance speech in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 600 miles from the rest of the inductees, Owens was back on a football field.
Along with several other, younger hopefuls, he worked out for Chris Jones, the head coach and general manager of the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders.
“I know I’m truly blessed and I can still play the game,” Owens told Chattanooga Times Free Press‘ Stephen Hargis after the workout. “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.”
Owens, who last played in 2010 for the Bengals, where he had 72 receptions for 983 yards and nine touchdowns, remains unsigned — and unwavering in his belief that he was right to not join the rest of his class in Canton.
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