Utah football: What a way for one of Utes’ favorite sons to end career

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Former Utah safety Eric Weddle capped a brief but remarkable run Sunday by helping the Los Angeles Rams win the Super Bowl in his final NFL game.

While his time with the Rams spanned only a matter of weeks, it was quite a way to finish off a 13-year career.

Brandon Judd chronicled Weddle’s Super Bowl experience for the Deseret News.

Weddle came out of retirement — he left the game two years ago — and signed with the Rams after the regular season due to injury issues in the secondary. Not only did he start at safety throughout the playoffs, he was the Rams’ defensive signal caller.

Los Angeles Rams defensive back Eric Weddle in action against the Cincinnati Bengals during the Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif.
Steve Luciano, Associated Press

And in the Super Bowl, he suffered a torn pectoral muscle but kept on playing.

“Certain things had to happen for me to be in this moment, and to finish it off the way we did is just something you hear out of a book, or a story — a fiction fairy tale you only wish that your name would be a part of it,” Weddle said after the game. “Lucky me, it’s about me, and I’m a world champ now.”

Weddle was one of three former Utes to earn a Super Bowl ring — along with placekicker Matt Gay and safety Terrell Burgess.

Gay drilled two extra points and booted a 41-yard field goal that helped cut the Rams’ third-quarter deficit to 20-16.

For Weddle, the 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals was a storybook ending.

“It took me 15 years to get here,” he said. “You don’t want to miss the opportunity and make the most of it, and we sure did.”

numbers game

5: Tackles by Eric Weddle in his first, and only, Super Bowl appearance.

10 or 19: Utah’s free throw shooting in a loss at Colorado. The Utes entered the game shooting 78.5% from the line this season.

25: Career-high points scored by junior center Branden Carlson against Colorado.

From the archives

extra points

  • As painful losses pile up for young Runnin’ Utes, prospects for future remain bright (Deseret News)
  • Devin Lloyd, Nephi Sewell set to represent Utah football at NFL combine (Deseret News)
  • Broken record: Runnin’ Utes drop yet another close game, failing to finish against Colorado (Deseret News)
  • Utah lost more than just its first meet of the season against Cal (Deseret News)
  • Dusan Mahorcic no longer with Utah basketball team (Deseret News)

fanalyst

“What Weddle did was nothing short of incredible! There aren’t many people that can walk away from a NFL career for 2 full years and then be in good enough shape and have enough physicality to jump in and play one of the toughest positions on the field … and play through an injury . Phenomenal! Much respect for him.”

— LogicalWizard

“Most of us who have played the game and hung up the cleats have a dream about being called up for the big game and winning it. For 99.9% of us it’s wild and crazy fantasy. But not for an Eric. He lived the dream. Congratulations man!”

— Harrison Bergeron

Up next

Feb. 17 | 9 pm | Men’s basketball | vs. Stanford | @Stanford, California | ESPNU

Feb. 20 | 4 pm | Men’s basketball | vs. California | @Berkeley, California | Pac-12 Network

Feb. 18 | 8 pm | Women’s basketball | vs. USC | @Los Angeles | Pac-12 Network

Feb. 18 | 6 pm | Gymnastics | vs. Oregon State | @Salt Lake City | Pac-12 Network

Feb. 20 | 1 pm | Women’s basketball | vs. USC | @Los Angeles | Pac-12 Network

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