Jason Kelce Cries On Sidelines As Retirement Looms Following Eagles’ Early Playoff Exit


Jason Kelce took deep breaths as the Eagles faced a 32-9 demise, likely facing his final moments on an NFL field. The vet swelled with emotion in the final minute of Monday night’s game between Philadelphia and the Tampa Bay Bucs. Led by an inspired Baker Mayfield and a stout defense, the Buccaneers bounced the 11-6 Eagles.

“No guys. Not today. Sorry,” Kelce told reporters after the game, concerning a retirement announcement.

By all appearances, this was Kelce’s swan song, and Kelce appeared to come to grips with stepping away. From the bench, Kelce watched the final quarter solemnly. On the final drive, Kelce let it all out. The 13-year veteran found his family at Raymond James after the game to give an emotional greeting.

TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 15: Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles talks with his family in the stands after an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on January 15, 2024 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA – JANUARY 15: Ryan Jensen #66 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers talks with Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles after the NFC Wild Card Playoffs at Raymond James Stadium on January 15, 2024 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Kelce fought back tears, from the field to the locker room.


Philadelphia proved inefficient on both sides of the ball. The Eagles’ trusted ‘Tush Push‘ failed in the second quarter. Philly’s defense was porous beyond belief, giving up big-play touchdowns to Baker Mayfield and his resilient offensive cast.

Tampa Bay advances to face the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Jalen Hurts played an inefficient game, outside of several deep shots to DeVonta Smith (8 REC, 148 YDS). Hurts completed 25-of-35 for 250 yards and one touchdown. He averaged 4.9 yards per throw when blitzed.

The Eagles face a turning point as the 36-year-old Kelce seriously considers retiring and the Philly brass decides whether Nick Sirianni will remain as coach. Philadelphia also waits on several veterans’ status heading into the offseason, such as defensive linemen Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham.

Graham said he wants to play one more season.

Kelce’s first-ballot Hall of Fame status is unquestioned. And if this is it, happy trails.

Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
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