Six-time Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle emerges from retirement to help Rams in playoffs
The Rams, seeking depth in the wake of injuries in the secondary, have signed Eric Weddle, a six-time Pro Bowl safety who retired after the 2019 season, the team announced Wednesday.
Weddle, 37, played for the Rams in 2019, the final season of a 13-year NFL career that included nine seasons with the Chargers and three with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Rams play the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night in an NFC wild-card game at SoFi Stadium.
The Rams signed Weddle and defensive backs Blake Countess and Sharrod Neasman to the practice squad. They also signed safety Jake Gervase to the roster.
Rams players and coaches were not made available to the media Wednesday.
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, however, cited Weddle’s Pro Bowl credentials.
Rams safety Jordan Fuller suffered a severe ankle injury in the regular-season finale against the San Francisco 49ers and will miss the playoffs.
“I mean, it’s impressive,” Kingsbury told Rams beat reporters during a conference call. “He must be living a lot healthier lifestyle than I would if I retired after a career like that.
“He was a fantastic player a couple years ago ... one of the smartest defensive players that anybody ever thinks about. So, if anybody can do it there’s no doubt he can.”
Rams safety Jordan Fuller suffered a season-ending ankle injury last Sunday during the team’s ’ 27-24 overtime defeat to the San Francisco 49ers, a loss that dropped the Rams from the No. 2 seed to No. 4.
The Rams’ inability to beat the San Francisco 49ers shows why Matthew Stafford and Sean McVay don’t have what it takes to reach the Super Bowl.
Also, safety Taylor Rapp is in concussion protocol, coach Sean McVay said this week. Nick Scott and Terrell Burgess are other safeties on the roster.
In 2019, Weddle had four pass breakups for the Rams.
Countess, 28, played in 37 games for the Rams in 2016-2018. He had one interception in 2017 and another in 2018. He played six games with the New York Jets in 2019 and two with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020.
Neasman, 30, played in 11 games this season with the Jets, and intercepted one pass. He played for the Atlanta Falcons in 2016-2020.
Gervase has spent most of the last three seasons on the Rams’ practice squad. He has played in five games.
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