Houston Texans DT Vince Wilfork was greeted with cheers when he took the field before the Divisional Round playoff game against the New England Patriots, and Wilfork responded with a kind wave to the fans.
When the final seconds ticked off the clock in the Patriots 34-16 win, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien called Wilfork off the field that he called home for 11 seasons. Patriots fans gave Wilfork a standing ovation as he jogged to the sideline, with Wilfork blowing kissing right back.
Wilfork might finally be done with football.
“I’ll take my time and think about it, but I think I’ve played by last NFL football game,” Wilfork said to the media after the game. “But I’ll take my time and do my due diligence and sit back and see if I really want to retire. We’ll see. I don’t know how long it will take, but I’ll see.
“But that doesn’t change the fact I enjoyed every bit of my career. I enjoyed 11 great years in New England and I enjoyed two great years in Texas with these teammates; unbelievable teammates. I couldn’t have any better teammates from both organizations. You talk about the organization itself, top of the class. They’re just two owners that anyone would love to play for.”
Wilfork is destined for the Patriots Hall of Fame and should receive legitimate consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his role in the New England defense. He’ll always be welcome in Foxborough and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him on CSNNE alongside Jerod Mayo and Devin McCourty at some point in the near future.
When asked if it meant more to Wilfork that his final game could have taken place in New England, where he established his greatness, Wilfork paused for a second, remember he was not officially retired, and simply said, “It’s never special to lose.”
I’ll miss Vince when he officially decides to hang up his uniform.