Eric Weddle

AFC Notes: Raiders, Chiefs, Dupree, Weddle

First-round draft pick Alex Leatherwood had an up-and-down rookie season in Las Vegas. After struggling a bit at right tackle, Leatherwood was moved to guard to fill in after injuries to starters Richie Incognito and Denzelle Good. According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, the Raiders’ former staff intended to move Leatherwood back to his drafted position next season.

The decision is now out of their hands and in the hands of new offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo. With Kolton Miller set at left tackle and Andre James filling in admirably this season with the loss of center Rodney Hudson in a trade to the Cardinals last year, the Raiders have three offensive line spots with which to play around. Bricillo’s placement of Leatherwood will likely depend on how they choose to address those open positions.

Here are a few more notes from around the AFC, starting with another note from the West:

S Eric Weddle Re-Retiring

The Beard is hanging up the cleats…again. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Rams’ safety Eric Weddle told reporters after their Super Bowl LVI victory, that “yes, (he’s) re-retiring.” Weddle is making good on a promise he made shortly after the Rams’ NFC Championship victory over the 49ers. 

“It’s amazing to be able to understand that and know that I don’t have to save myself for next season, I don’t have to save myself for the offseason, I didn’t have to save myself for the Super Bowl last week knowing it wasn’t guaranteed, so I was throwing it in there, giving it everything I got,” Weddle had said. “After this Super Bowl, I move on and go back to my old life and there will be no comebacks.”

Weddle originally announced his retirement shortly following the conclusion of his 2019 NFL season with the Rams. In that lone year in Los Angeles, Weddle was a team captain and defensive-signal caller, a role he reprised tonight, wearing the green sticker for the Rams’ defense.

Weddle was coaxed out of retirement as a bandage for a Rams’ secondary that was without Jordan Fuller and Taylor Rapp at safety to start the playoffs. His impact over the four-game playoff run wasn’t flashy, but he provided impactful leadership and sure tackling en route to his first Super Bowl ring. A member of the All-Decade Team for the 2010s, the only thing missing in Weddle’s illustrious career was that elusive ring. He’ll get fitted for it now and be invited to the White House with the rest of the team.

In tonight’s Super Bowl LVI victory, Weddle appeared to injure himself early in the game while making a tackle. He left the game momentarily before coming back to finish out the victory continuing to make tackles along the way. He told reporters after the game that he suffered a torn pec and will require surgery soon. He’ll have a lifetime to recover with no rush.

Weddle had a well-known tradition after winning football games. Upon returning home, Weddle and his family would enjoy a victory-bowl of ice cream. While in Baltimore, Weddle once agreed he would host an ice cream party at M&T Bank Stadium if they won the big game. While he may not have the same plans for SoFi Stadium, I hope Weddle and his family get to enjoy a “super bowl” of ice cream that fits the entire carton.

Eric Weddle Expected To Stay Retired After Super Bowl

The playoff run Eric Weddle is currently on with the Rams has certainly been noteworthy, but it won’t be a jumping-off point for a return to the NFL full time. As’s Kevin Patra writes, the veteran safety plans to return to his retirement after Super Bowl LVI. 

The 37-year-old signed with the Rams prior to the postseason to take one more shot at a Super Bowl title. With starter Jordan Fuller out for the remainder of the campaign, there was a opening for the 13-year veteran in the secondary. After only playing 19 snaps in the Rams’ Wild Card win, his workload saw a sharp increase the following week. During this past Sunday’s NFC championship win, Weddle played every defensive snap, and led the team in tackles.

“It’s amazing to be able to understand that and know that I don’t have to save myself for next season, I don’t have to save myself for the offseason, I didn’t have to save myself for the Super Bowl last week knowing it wasn’t guaranteed, so I was throwing it in there, giving it everything I got” he said. “After this Super Bowl, I move on and go back to my old life and there will be no comebacks“.

A member of the All-Decade Team for the 2010s, Weddle is only missing a Super Bowl ring to complete an illustrious career. Always known as one of the smartest players in the league, he showed signs of slowing down during his third and final year with the Ravens in 2018. That led many to believe the 2019 season – in which he returned home to play with the Rams – would be his last, as it appeared to be, given his retirement at the end of the year. While he has since returned, we now know that his ‘mini-comeback’ will end next Sunday, regardless of the game’s outcome.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/29/22

Today’s minor moves before Championship Sunday:

Cincinnati Bengals

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco 49ers

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/22/22

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Los Angeles Rams

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/17/22

Today’s minor transactions around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Los Angeles Rams

Tennessee Titans

Rams To Promote Eric Weddle

Eric Weddle‘s return to NFL practices this week evidently did not produce a letdown. The recently unretired safety is set to come off the Rams’ practice squad and play against the Cardinals, Lindsey Thiry of tweets.

This will be Weddle’s first game action since the 2019 regular-season finale. Suddenly thin at safety, the Rams lured Weddle out of retirement earlier this week. Both starters are out for Monday’s game, with Sean McVay adding that Taylor Rapp will not play against Arizona. The Rams placed Jordan Fuller on IR earlier this week.

Fuller will undergo season-ending ankle surgery, and Rapp will not clear concussion protocol in time to play in Los Angeles’ wild-card matchup. Third-year man Nick Scott has played the third-most snaps at safety for the Rams this season, with practice squad cog Sharrod Neasman having also played more than 200 snaps.

A 13-year veteran, Weddle turned 37 last week. While Weddle was durable during the first leg of his career, having missed just three games from 2010-19, this obviously will be an interesting experiment the Rams are conducting. Weddle made the Pro Bowl in each of his three Ravens campaigns, from 2016-18, and was a 16-game starter for the Rams the following year. It is uncertain if the Rams will count on Weddle to return as a starter, but he will suit up in this unusual circumstance.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 1/12/22

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

San Francisco 49ers

Weddle Returns To Rams For Playoff Run

The Beard is returning to the playoffs. Eric Weddle has agreed to a deal returning to the Los Angeles Rams for a playoff run. The two-time All-Pro is coming out of retirement for one more attempt at a Super Bowl ring. 

Weddle announced his retirement shortly after the 2019 NFL season and did not see any time on an NFL field last year. In his lone year on the Rams, Weddle was a team captain and defensive signal-caller.

The new comes shortly after hearing that starting safety Jordan Fuller would require ankle surgery that will hold him out for the remainder of the season. The Rams’ other starter in the defensive backfield, Taylor Rapp, is also in concussion protocol.

Weddle, despite continuing to be a leader on the defense, saw his impact change a bit in his last two years of football. The 37-year old hasn’t forced a turnover in a little over four years, but his last season on the Rams saw him finish second on the team in tackles.

Los Angeles will take whatever version of Weddle they can get as their secondary limps into the playoffs. They face their division rivals Monday night as they host the Cardinals for Super Wild Card Weekend.