LOS ANGELES, Calif. (ABC4) – It turned out to be a pretty good month back on the job for former University of Utah football star Eric Weddle.
After a two-year hiatus from the game after retiring in Feb. 2020, Weddle was called back into action to fill in for the Los Angeles Rams as they prepared their march through the postseason. He ended up playing in all four Rams playoff wins, including Sunday’s victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.
Now, the 37-year-old is retiring again, this time as a world champion.
He’ll be doing so, however, with some bruises and scars to take with him, in addition to a Super Bowl ring.
Weddle tore a pectoral muscle early on against the Bengals but gritted through the pain to finish the game and celebrate with his family and teammates.
Speaking with the press after the confetti had fallen, Weddle confirmed that he would be re-entering retirement and would be getting surgery on his chest.
He didn’t seem to be too upset about it though.
“Over the last 15 years, certain things had to happen for me to be in this moment,” Weddle stated from the podium, still in uniform following the game. “To finish it off the way we did, it’s really just something you hear out of a book or a story, a fiction fairy tale that you only wish your name would be a part of. Lucky me, it’s about me, and I’m a world champion.”
The victory will effectively put a cap on a storied and celebrated career for the former Ute great. Prior to his NFL days, Weddle had one of the most versatile and accomplished tenures in Utah history from 2003-06. He was a Freshman All-American in his first year with the program, won Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year twice, and was a consensus All-American selection in his senior year. His last year with the Utes was especially memorable as he starred in all three phases of the game; offense, defense, and special teams.
One opposing coach remarked that Utah owed Weddle two scholarships for his enormous workload.
Drafted in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, Weddle made six Pro Bowls, was named to five All-Pro teams, and was a member of the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade Team and was a valuable contributor for the Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, and Rams.
He finally added the final piece of hardware to his trophy case, a Super Bowl ring, after a gritty performance on Sunday.