Eric Weddle, retired for two seasons, led Rams in tackles in NFC Championship win over 49ers

From the proverbial couch to the Super Bowl.

The Los Angeles Rams stunningly signed Eric Weddle ahead of their postseason run after injuries to their safety crew left them woefully thin. The 37-year-old had been retired for two full seasons after walking away following the Rams' 2019 season.

At the time of the signing, it appeared Weddle might simply be insurance. A savvy veteran who knew the system, could play in certain packages and could fill the gaps left by Jordan Fuller's season-ending ankle injury and Taylor Rapp, who remains in concussion protocol.

Upon returning from retirement, this is what Weddle said he expected his participation level to be:

"I think I can still help for 15 or 20 snaps or whatever they need," Weddle said, via the Orange County Register. "It's amazing, how great I feel. I've lost some weight, I've taken some of the toll off my knees and back. I've been training like a madman."

Oh, boy, has he been more than a 20-snap player for the Super Bowl-bound Rams.

After just 19 snaps in the wild-card win over the Arizona Cardinals, Weddle has been a full-time defender, netting 60 plays in the Divisional Round win over Tampa Bay and playing all 50 snaps in the NFC Championship victory over rival San Francisco.

Weddle isn't just on the field. He's been a difference-maker for a Rams defense that boasts stars like Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey.

Sunday, the man who was playing pick-up basketball three weeks ago led L.A. with nine tackles in the NFC Championship win. Those weren't just hollow clean-up-the-play stats, either. Despite being out of the game for two seasons, Weddle proved he still has the timing and acumen to make plays.

With the Niners holding a three-point lead near midfield, facing a second-and-1, Weddle knifed through the offensive line and chopped running back Elijah Mitchell down for a 1-yard loss. When L.A. stuffed Kyle Juszczyk on third-and-2, it forced a punt from Kyle Shanahan that allowed the Rams to tie the game and eventually take the lead in the 20-17 victory.

Weddle returned from retirement to chase the elusive Super Bowl ring that evaded him in 13 seasons with the Chargers, Ravens and Rams. He's got that shot after Sunday's performance.

The man who famously had an "ice cream clause" in his contract could be in for the biggest sundae of his career in Super Bowl LVI.

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