Column: Quartet of San Diego safeties eyes NFL wild-card playoff games

The upcoming Super Bowl tournament is off to an unpredictable, even theatrical start without a football being kicked, passed or caught.

A Poway father of four sprang the four-round event’s first big surprise by coming out of retirement to join one of six teams participating in the NFC wild-card playoffs.

Eric Weddle said Thursday that, barring a setback before kickoff Monday night, he’ll be wearing No. 20 for the Los Angeles Rams and aligning their defense for a number of snaps against the Arizona Cardinals inside the Kroenke Dome.

That scenario still needs to be seen, to be believed.

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Weddle, 37, last played more than two years ago. The only defense he has directed since facing Arizona in December 2019 was that of the Rancho Bernardo Broncos, a collection of boys age 12 and under he coaches. “We went 11-1, won the championship,” Weddle said.

It was 23 months ago that the former San Diego Chargers All-Pro safety announced his retirement, signing off with Beard Out.

The Cardinals won’t be feeling nostalgic. Even if Weddle’s snap count is limited to about a third of a full game, as the player implied may happen, his potential return has caused some NFL observers to wince.

“I hope he signed a waiver, because he’s liable to get hurt,” said former NFL executive Michael Lombardi on his podcast. “The poor (guy) hasn’t played in two years. They’re going to break him in half.…

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