Eric Weddle was at home, out of football for nearly two full seasons, when the Rams called him for an emergency reunion this postseason. Now, the 37-year-old safety is set to suit up for his first Super Bowl, with the team officially activating him from its practice squad on Saturday. The move confirms Weddle's place in the starting lineup for Super Bowl LVI against the Bengals, and comes days after defensive coordinator Raheem Morris indicated the veteran would serve as the Rams' defensive signal-caller.
The Athletic's Dan Pompei first reported that Weddle would take over as the Rams' signal-caller, wearing the "green dot" that signifies in-helmet communication with the staff. Weddle held the same role during his first stint with Los Angeles, in 2019, but Morris had previously used linebacker Troy Reeder to relay calls to the defense.
"He's one of those guys who has been special since he got here, since he walked in the building, with his leadership, with his communication, with his play," Morris said of Weddle, per The Athletic's Jourdan Rodrigue. "Make no mistakes about it, we didn't bring him here just to talk. We brought him here to be a play-maker, which he's done over the last couple of weeks. He's one of the reasons that we're in the situation that we're in."
A six-time Pro Bowler who starred for the Chargers and Ravens before first arriving in L.A., Weddle retired after the 2019 season, his first with the Rams. After losing starting safeties Jordan Fuller and Taylor Rapp to separate injuries late this year, however, the Rams inquired about Weddle's availability, and he quickly returned from retirement. While he played just 19 snaps in the team's wild-card win over the Cardinals, he played 85 percent of the Rams' defensive snaps the following week against the Buccaneers, and never left the field in L.A.'s NFC Championship win over the 49ers.