ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen announced Friday that he temporarily is stepping away from his NFL coverage duties at the network while receiving treatment for Stage IV throat cancer.
Mortenson, 64, who joined ESPN in 1991, said in a statement released by the network that he was diagnosed more than a week ago and that the initial diagnosis was confirmed Friday.
“There is another test remaining that will determine the best possible treatment plan that will commence in the very immediate future,” he said in the statement.
Mortensen added he will step away “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.”
ESPN president John Skipper said, “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.”