Agent: Veteran safety Eric Weddle rejoins Rams for playoffs

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – Eric Weddle’s agent says the veteran NFL safety is coming out of retirement to rejoin the Los Angeles Rams for the playoffs.

David Canter made the announcement Wednesday morning. A person with knowledge of the deal confirmed the Rams plan to re-sign Weddle, who turned 37 last week and hasn’t played since the 2019 season, to fill their glaring need at safety. Jordan Fuller is out for the playoffs with a right ankle injury and fellow starting safety Taylor Rapp is in the concussion protocol.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Weddle hasn’t yet signed his contract. The NFC West champion Rams (12-5) return to practice Thursday ahead of their visit from the Arizona Cardinals (11-6) on Monday night.

Weddle retired in February 2020 after one season with the Rams and one year left on his contract. The Los Angeles-area native spent his first 11 NFL seasons with the San Diego Chargers and the Baltimore Ravens before joining the Rams and making 108 tackles for Wade Phillips’ defense.

The Rams missed the playoffs in Weddle’s only season with them. The two-time All-Pro selection and four-time Pro Bowler has appeared in just one playoff game since 2013, but the Utah product is seizing the chance to fill in for a defense that desperately needs help.

Fuller, the Rams’ leading tackler and defensive signal caller, is out for the season after injuring his ankle late in the Rams’ overtime loss to San Francisco last Sunday, costing them the second seed in the NFC. Rapp played nearly the entire game, but went into the concussion protocol Monday.

Cornerback Jalen Ramsey is having an outstanding season for the Rams, but every defensive back except him and Fuller has had a rough year. Rapp, Darious Williams, Dont´e Deayon, Nick Scott and David Long have all struggled at various points in coverage and as tacklers. Los Angeles finished 17th in the NFL in total yards allowed this season after being the league’s stingiest defense in 2020.

The Rams’ secondary and linebackers group are clear weaknesses to be exploited by capable offenses. Kyler Murray has already thrown for 651 yards against the LA defense this season for the Cardinals, who racked up 912 yards while splitting their two meetings with the Rams this season.

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