Former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Terrell Owens (81) puts his arm on the back of ex-Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) in the third quarter against the New York Jets in Week 6 of the NFL season on October 18, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
One of Terrell Owens' former teammates said he expects the wide receiver will show up for the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who spent the 2009 season playing with Owens in Buffalo, told Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan.com that he expects the mercurial wideout to be in Canton on Aug. 4.
"We had a good rapport and I consider T.O. a great teammate," the 35-year-old Fitzpatrick said. "When he came to Buffalo, he had been in hot water a little bit. But he still had a lot of juice and I was impressed with the way he worked and grinded every rep at practice. When all is said and done, I think he'll show up in Canton."
Owens has come under fire after publicly declining his invitation to be part of the Class of 2018. The 44-year-old released a statement on Thursday that he planned to "celebrate what will be one of the most memorable days of my life, elsewhere."
A finalist for the past three years, Owens was selected for enshrinement in the Class of 2018 along with linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, wide receiver Randy Moss and safety Brian Dawkins. They will be joined by Bobby Beathard (contributor) and seniors committee nominees Jerry Kramer and Robert Brazile.
Although he gained much notoriety for on-field antics and clashes with teammates and coaches, Owens put up sparkling numbers during his 16 NFL seasons.
A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Owens resides second in career receiving yards (15,934), third in receiving touchdowns (153) and eighth in receptions with 1,078. He had a spectacular, three-year stretch (2000-02) in which he caught 290 passes for 4,163 yards and 42 touchdowns.
Although he is not expected to be in attendance in Canton, Owens will be the headliner of the Madden NFL 19: Hall of Fame edition video game, which will be released on Aug. 7 -- three days after the ceremonies.
Owens is depicted in a Cowboys uniform on the Madden cover.