ESPN NFL analyst Chris Mortensen to take time off during treatment for throat cancer

Chris Mortensen

Chris Mortensen, an NFL analyst for ESPN, in 2012. Mortensen has announced that he will take some time off as he begins treatment for throat cancer. 

(Robert Beck / ESPN)

ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen announced Friday that he has been diagnosed with throat cancer and will take some time off as he begins treatment.

“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.”


Skipper said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with Chris and his family as he faces this challenge. He is an extremely respected colleague, who has the complete support of his entire ESPN family. We wish him strength and hope in the battle ahead and look forward to his return whenever he chooses.”

Mortensen started with ESPN in 1991 after a career as a newspaper reporter.