Shutdown Corner - NFL

Seven days ago all the talk surrounding Kurt Warner(notes) dealt with his possible retirement after the Arizona Cardinals season ended. Six days ago, after Warner played a flawless game in the Cardinals' thrilling overtime victory against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC wild card, such talk sounded premature. Today, retirement looks back on the table.

The 38-year old, two-time MVP took a vicious hit from Bobby McCray(notes) of the New Orleans Saints in the second quarter of today's NFC divisional playoff. Warner was trying to make a tackle following an interception when he was laid out on the block. After laying motionless on the ground for an instant, Warner sat up with a dazed expression that screamed "concussion". Later reports suggested it was a chest injury. Judge for yourself:

Warner sat out the rest of the first half but surprisingly returned to start the second before getting pulled for Matt Leinart(notes) with the Cardinals down 45-14 midway through the final quarter.

Since Warner has had five (reported) concussions during his career and sat out a game earlier this season because of one, it's hard to believe he'd have come back today had doctors not been confident that there was no such injury suffered on the hit. But maybe he lied to doctors about his condition, something Warner said he considered doing in December.

The main question now is whether Warner will return in 2010 or hang it up. Whatever the decision, don't expect any Favrian flip-flops. Expect Warner to stick with retirement should he go that route. If he was leaning that way before today, Bobby McCray might have nudged him even further.

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