Friday, January 28, 2022

Six-time Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle coming out of retirement to join Rams for playoff run

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USA Today

Eric Weddle is coming out of retirement. The six-time Pro Bowl free safety is signing with the Rams after the team lost Jordan Fuller to a season-ending ankle injury, according to Weddle’s agent, David Canter. Weddle has less than a week to get up to speed before the Rams host the Arizona Cardinals in Monday night’s wild-card playoff game. 

Weddle, 37, has not played in the NFL since 2019. He spent that season with the Rams after spending the previous three years with the Baltimore Ravens. Weddle spent the majority of his career with the Chargers, where he was named an All-Pro in 2011 and in 2014. During his lone season with the Rams, Weddle recorded 108 tackles, his highest total since the 2014 season. 

Weddle has 201 regular season and nine playoff games under his belt. He helped the Chargers advance to the AFC Championship Game back in 2007. His last playoff appearance was the Ravens’ wild-card loss to the Chargers back in 2018.

Weddle will join a Rams defense that finished 15th in the NFL in scoring, sixth in rushing, and eighth in red-zone efficiency during the regular season. He joins a lineup that already includes Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey, former Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald. The Rams defense is preparing to face a Cardinals offense that is led by quarterback Kyler Murray, running back James Conner and receivers A.J. Green and Christian Kirk. The two teams split their season series with the Rams getting the better of the Cardinals when the teams last met back in Week 14. 

While not a normal practice, Weddle is not the first player to come out of retirement during the postseason. Marshawn Lynch returned to Seattle on the eve of the postseason back in 2019. Two decades earlier, Hall of Fame pass rusher Charles Haley ended a two-year retirement to join the 49ers for the 1998 playoffs. Both players helped their teams have success in the wild-card round before bowing out in the divisional round. 

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