Talk about a charmed NFL encore performance? LA Rams formerly-retired now retired-again defensive back Eric Weddle returned to play for the team with three stipulations in mind. First of all, it was quite clear that he did not want his return to be either symbolic or ornamental. He wanted to come back and compete for playing time and a starting role.
Second of all, he wanted to be heavily involved in the defense. Even if he was not a designated starter, he wanted to ensure that he would have a meaningful rotational role with the team. Of course, we know how those first two stipulations turned out for the team.
The third stipulation, of course, was the hope that the LA Rams would compete in and win Super Bowl LVI. Of course, that was not something that the team could guarantee, but they had as good of a shot as any team. With the addition of Weddle, the defense actually seemed to play with more passion and energy.
Weddle wins the ultimate prize
Ultimately, Weddle was one of several key contributors who carried the team to their first Super Bowl victory for the city of Los Angeles. He didn’t need to come back to the team. He didn’t need to put a temporary hiatus on his retirement to take one more chance at hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. But he did, and the bet paid off. Handsomely.
Still, this was not some version of reincarnation. Eric Weddle came back for a fitting commemorative bit of jewelry signifying his years of NFL play. For that last bit of playing time, he now walks away with a Super Bowl LVI Championship Ring.
Somehow, I believe the ring will hold far more meaning to him post-retirement than a gold pocket watch. Imagine being a high school football player who is coached by a man who has the latest Super Bowl ring? Somehow, I think Eric Weddle is going to touch the lives of a large number of young men in the future.