Eric Weddle was looking forward to returning to family life after his unexpected month-plus return to the NFL culminated in winning a Super Bowl ring on Sunday night.
Weddle joined “Good Morning Football” on NFL Network on Thursday morning, four days after the 13-year NFL veteran won his first NFL championship as the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in the 2022 Super Bowl.
One of the show’s co-hosts, Peter Schrager, shared why Weddle wasn’t at the team’s Super Bowl parade on Wednesday.
“I hadn’t seen my kids in a long time. Was time to get home,” he said, per Schrager.
Many thanks to Eric Weddle for joining @gmfb today. He said he tore his pec on the 8th play of the Super Bowl. Worst pain of his career. But there was absolutely no way he was coming out. Skipped the parade yesterday. “I hadn’t seen my kids in a long time. Was time to get home.”— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) February 17, 2022
Weddle — the six-time Pro Bowler and former Utah star safety — famously came out of retirement last month to join Los Angeles for the postseason after injuries severely impacted the Rams’ depth at safety.
“It feels like a dream — I left my world behind for 51⁄2 weeks of picking up kids and coaching my son and dropoffs, making dinner. Then I left that … to be a kid again and chase a dream I thought was dead, honestly,” Weddle said during his appearance on the show.
“When you retire and you don’t have a Super Bowl (ring), the dream’s dead. To be able to have an opportunity to live that out again on a crazy whim of an idea was pretty special.”
Despite two years away from the game, he played an instrumental role in Los Angeles’ playoff run.
That included putting up a team-high nine tackles in the team’s NFC championship win, then being the defensive play-caller and collecting five tackles in Super Bowl LVI, Weddle’s lone Super Bowl appearance. He did all that while suffering a torn pec early in the game Sunday, which Weddle described as “the worst pain I have ever felt.”
His leadership abilities with a veteran Rams group have been well-documented in the days since the Super Bowl, as he was shown encouraging his own teammates as well as providing kind words for opponents like second-year Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.
What’s not to love about Eric Weddle pic.twitter.com/4E1eEyCITY— Taylor Kyles (@tkyles39) February 17, 2022
Joe Burrow went up to all the #Rams star defenders and introduced himself during Sunday’s Super Bowl.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) February 16, 2022
“Hey, I’m Joe.” 😂
“There’s always a role and a spot on a team for that leadership. … Your older guys run the team. The head coach is out there portraying what you want done — the culture, this is how we run things — but if your leaders don’t follow suit, the head coach is irrelevant,” Weddle said.
“When you have that (strong veteran leadership), and you have that base, the older guys are an extension of your head coach and what you want done.”