ESPN NFL insider Chris Mortensen announced August 31 that his Stage IV throat cancer had “been virtually reduced to zero detection” and that he would be returning to work this fall, but it’s still remarkable to see him back this soon.
Mortensen made his return to ESPN’s NFL Insiders Friday, appearing from his home in Arkansas:
Welcome back @mortreport!
Chris Mortensen will be on today’s NFL Insiders (2p ET, ESPN2) from his home in Arkansas. pic.twitter.com/pMFZYyUBuZ
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 23, 2016
The outpouring of support for Mortensen after this announcement shows how much he’s been missed by many:
Dear @mortreport – don't know which of us was Sam to other's Ralph during my years in NFL – here's to years more of your reports – love Sam.
— Amy Trask (@AmyTrask) September 23, 2016
Single best sight of the young season, from today's NFL Insiders: pic.twitter.com/9rnkUsxmhf
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 23, 2016
— Josh Krulewitz (@jksports) September 23, 2016
It's great to see @mortreport back on television. Get better soon, Mort! You're the best.
— Todd Swoope (@ToddSwoope) September 23, 2016
— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) September 23, 2016
— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) September 23, 2016
Holly Rowe, who fought her own battle with cancer recently, also chimed in with support:
— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) September 23, 2016
It’s good to see Mortensen continuing his recovery, and it’s great to see him able to return to work. It’s been quite a battle for him, from the announcement of his cancer in January to his discussion of the long fight ahead in March to his public tribute to Peyton Manning for the quarterback’s support (plus his breaking the news of Manning’s retirement during his treatment), but for now, it looks like one where he’s coming out on the winning side.
As Mortensen said in August, though, there are still further checkups and examinations ahead:
“I do have scheduled exams and scans during the next three months to monitor my status but my oncologists have directed me to recover and rehab from the treatments that have resulted in lengthy hospitalization, significant weight loss, strength, endurance and related health issues. I am following instructions to overcome these challenges.
“My return-to-work status has variables with no definitive target date but I anticipate being able to participate in NFL coverage on a limited basis as the 2016 season gets underway.
“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. 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.
We’ll see how much Mortensen’s able to do on ESPN’s NFL coverage in the weeks and months ahead, but it’s certainly positive to see that he’s recovering well and able to appear again.