Pennington: Not Closing the Book

Chad Pennington said he was kind of numb for the first two days after he went down with a shoulder injury at San Diego on Sunday. But now that reality has set, Pennington is looking forward. He is scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday, and only after that will he start thinking about his football future.

Pennington held a press conference at the Dolphins' training facility on Wednesday, and said he was going to map out a plan once the surgery is over.

He refused to speculate on whether he would play football again, saying he would only address that once he's able to do normal things with his shoulder again.

Pennington's contract with the Dolphins only runs through this season, so the possibility exists he has played his last down with Miami.

But Pennington warned against a rush to judgment despite being faced with a third surgery on his right shoulder.

"I'm certainly not going to close the book," Pennington said. "People have tried to close the book on me before, but I'm not going to do it."

Despite his stance, Pennington was asked to reflect on his time with the Dolphins, who he joined August of 2008 after being released by the Jets and proceeded to lead to the AFC East title.

After helping the Dolphins go from 1-15 to 11-5, Pennington finished second in league MVP voting.

"There's a lot to be proud of, but at the same time, as an athlete you always feel like there's some unfinished business."

Describing himself as a "football head," Pennington said he would be open to the idea of continuing to work with new starter Chad Henne the rest of the season. But Pennington said that decision would be up to the Dolphins.

"My ultimate goal would be for our team to rally around Chad and do something special this season," Pennington said.

The injury continued a strange pattern in Pennington's career.

Since he became a full-time starter in the NFL in 2002, Pennington has never started more than nine games in an odd-numbered year nor finished with a passer rating higher than 82.9.

In even-numbered years, Pennington started 12, 13, 16 and 16 games. He had a passer rating of 104.2 in 2002, 91.0 in 2004, and won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award in both 2006 and 2008.

Pennington, however, refused to curse his luck.

"I did feel like I was past some of that and felt like I had paid my dues to the football gods," he said. "But that's not the case and that's OK, too. That's part of the game.

"There are worse things going on in the world than a bum shoulder."

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