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Marcus McNeill: I'm Not Brett Favre

Chargers left tackle says he won't retire

By Michael Gehlken
|  Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012  |  Updated 7:11 AM PDT
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Marcus McNeill: I'm Not Brett Favre

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Marcus McNeill #73 of the San Diego Chargers warms up before playing the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on October 2, 2011 in San Diego, California.

Marcus McNeill promises he's not retiring.

And he won't waffle over this decision, either.

The San Diego Chargers left tackle ensured Monday that he was plenty of football ahead of him and expects a full offseason of workouts before returning next season.

McNeill's year was cut short Nov. 10 when he suffered a neck herniation, which he says can cause back problems, on the eighth play against the Oakland Raiders. The ailment is similar to one he's dealt with in the past.

"As far as Marcus is concerned, I'm 100 percent sure I'll be playing football next year," McNeill said. "I'm not going to Brett Favre nobody. I know I'm not that important, but you know, I have no plans to retire right now. I'm just having too much fun playing football. As long as I can do it safely, that's what I plan to do."

The two-time Pro Bowler will continue taking preventative measures to strengthen his neck, where any issue can be problematic with the constant extension and retraction at the position, he said.

McNeill missed the final two games in 2008 to a neck injury before having offseason surgery.

This time, he visited specialists who helped determine that shutting things down after the Week 10 scare was the best course of action, in part so the condition wouldn't disrupt the upcoming offseason routine.

"You just got to keep it strong," McNeill said. "If you stay on top of it, you won't have any problems. I'm going to make sure I take it that seriously. You don't want things like that to happen. You don't want to feel sensations in your arms ... It's going really well so far. I'm feeling wonderful. The neck feels a lot better. It's a day-by-day process."

Then, just to avoid any confusion with a certain ex-Green Bay Backers quarterback, the 6-foot-7, 336-pounder wrapped up his interview in definitive style.

Said McNeill with a smile: "You'll see me next season with the Chargers."

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