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.


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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