ESPN NFL reporter and analyst Chris Mortensen has throat cancer and will be off the air indefinitely while he recovers, the network announced Friday.
Here’s Mort’s full statement via ESPN:
“More than a week ago, I was diagnosed with a Stage IV throat cancer,” Mortensen said in a statement Friday. “My focus shifted significantly to gathering information about the specifics of this cancer. The initial diagnosis was confirmed Friday and there is another test remaining that will determine the best possible treatment plan that will commence in the very immediate future.
“Consequently, with the support and encouragement from ESPN president John Skipper and many others at ESPN, I am temporarily stepping away from my normal NFL coverage duties to better engage this opportunity to fight the good fight that is projected to affect almost 1.7 million Americans with new cases in 2016.
“I have many inspirational examples of men, women and children who have faced this very fight. We all know somebody, right? I also have the love and prayers of my wife Micki, my family, my friends, colleagues and, most of all, my faith that serve as sources of tremendous strength. I have a peace about this and look forward to the battle.”
Mortensen has been at ESPN since 1991, reporting primarily on the NFL. He remains one of the network’s top football news-breakers, along with Adam Schefter.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 15, 2016
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 15, 2016
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 15, 2016
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) January 15, 2016
Wishing the best for Chris Mortensen and his family.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) January 15, 2016
— Josh Krulewitz (@jksports) January 15, 2016
Big thoughts & prayers go out to 1 of the really good ones @mortreport as he battles cancer! Chris, give 'em hell. LOTS of folks behind U.
— Mike Costa (@costa1360) January 15, 2016
@mortreport Wishing you a full recovery and a speedy return. Nothing but the best thoughts to you and your family.
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) January 15, 2016
— Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) January 15, 2016
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 15, 2016
We wish Mort a speedy and full recovery.