Terrell Owens says he can still run a 4.4 and play in the NFL at age 43

Terrell Owens said he believes he can still play in the NFL at age 43. (AP)
Terrell Owens said he believes he can still play in the NFL at age 43. (AP)

We may have finally figured out the real reason why voters are strangely keeping Terrell Owens out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame: They must think he’s coming back to play.

Owens, who has never lacked confidence, thinks he can still play in the NFL. In truth, he’s probably still better than some receivers in the NFL, even at age 43. Owens told Eric Dickerson on AM 570 in Los Angeles that the real joke isn’t that he’s been snubbed by the Hall of Fame. It’s that he’s not still catching passes in the league.

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“Me not being on the field right now is a joke, and I don’t care what people say,” Owens said. “Even though I’m 43, trust me, I’m not your average 43-year-old.”

From all accounts Owens is still in great shape. His work ethic when he was a star in the NFL was legendary. Dickerson noted Owens looked like he could still play.

“I can play. There’s no question about it,” Owens said. “With the fact that people – when you get into your 30s – they feel like you’re on a decline. I surpassed that, even when I was 35, 36, 37, they said I was too old but I was still balling out with the 20-year-olds.

“I can go out right now and give you a 4.4 [40-yard dash time]. Right now. At 43. I don’t necessarily have to play every down, but I can give you something on that football field.”

Who else wants to watch 43-year-old Owens run a 4.4-second 40-yard dash? Owens hasn’t played since 2010. But that season he had 983 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games for the Cincinnati Bengals. As crazy as it might sound, he probably could offer something on a part-time basis to an NFL team, even at 43.

That opportunity probably isn’t going to happen, though it would be the best story in the NFL if it did. Until then we can just shake our heads and wonder how a player as great as Owens still hasn’t been elected to the Hall of Fame.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!