Eagles’ veteran center Jason Kelce was sidelined for a portion of the team’s Week 12 game against the Giants, but it was his instency to return to the game in the second half that had people talking in the days that followed. Coaches and teammates talked about Kelce’s toughness and how it inspires those around him, but the center spoke to reporters on Wednesday and, while he appreciated their comments, felt it was his natural reaction.
Kelce explained the injury, recalling that he was down after a play, some guys fell on the back of his leg and things got twisted. He noticed on the next play that he couldn’t really fire his quad out of his stance like he normally does, so he walked off to work on it. They tried to tape it, but that didn’t really help it, so they tried some soft tissue exercises — a little bit of everything he noted —, but after some time it settled down a bit and that’s why he was able to come back in the second half.
The center mentioned that there’s still some swelling in the knee — the same knee he injured in 2021, but hasn’t had much issue with since —, but it doesn’t look like there’s major damage and he should be good.
After the game, running back Boston Scott was emotional talking about being teammates with a guy like Kelce who is so committed to playing every snap he can, and head coach Nick Sirianni echoed that sentiment on Wednesday, saying the veteran’s toughness gives him chills. Kelce appreciates their comments, but that’s just how he thinks things should be done.
“I really care about the game, I care about my teammates, and I care about this sport and this team, so I just try and do everything I can. It’s nice to hear that guys appreciate it, and teammates appreciate it whenever they say stuff like that, but I kind of think that’s the way it should be done. And, for the most part, I think that’s the way guys in this organization go about it.”
Sirianni also said that Kelce is the toughest guy he’s ever been around, but the veteran had some interesting insight when asked the toughest guy he’s ever been around.
“Toughness is a weird thing because I think everybody — the conventional mold of it is this like, macho, very physically dominating, and sometimes angry type of fellow. But, I really think toughness, and that’s what I used to think it was, but the more I’ve played football, even going through college with some guys, you really realize that toughness is the guys that can come and do the same thing over-and-over-and-over again.”
Kelce went on to say that he’s been around a lot of guys who come to work every day and work their asses off, commit and service their team, and those are the tough guys — and in that regard, he’s played with a lot of tough guys in both college and NFL.
Scott said post-game on Sunday that Kelce embodied Philadelphia, but Kelce thinks he mostly embodies the values and roles that have been instilled in him by his parents and that he’s learned from experiences.
“I do think that teams take on the embodiment of where they’re at, and the fanbases that root for them. I think it’s no question that the majority of Philadelphia Eagles teams are labeled tough, hard-nosed, physical football teams, and I think a large part of that is because of the vibe, the energy, and what the city demands. So, I am a product of a lot of different things.”
Kelce was also asked his thoughts on the toughness of Jalen Hurts, and he was quick to acknowledge that the QB embodies everything he already detailed.
“From the moment he’s been here. He’s played through injuries last year, played through injuries this year. He’s a guy that’s going to give you everything he has, and every single day he comes with the mindset to get better and to improve. So, I think he’s incredibly tough.”