There has never been any sort of objection to the fact that Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce is one of the toughest players in all of professional football.
The veteran lineman has started 117-straight games — a streak that looked as though it could be in jeopardy during the Eagles’ miserable 13-7 loss to the New York Giants.
During the first half, Kelce injured his knee and was forced to leave the game. After returning to the sideline and testing out the knee and his quad, the 34-year-old found enough to finish the game.
It isn’t possible, but the veteran’s actions won even more respect from his teammates, as left tackle Jordan Mailata had to reference “The Hobbit” to properly describe Kelce’s mythical toughness.
“The dwarves are getting slaughtered,” Mailata said referencing the Eagles struggling against the Giants. “Then the old king jumps over the wall, and they come running out and rally to him. Rally to the king.”
Kelce did not participate in Eagles practice on Thursday, a day after he tried to get out to the training field, but was limited. Still, the expectation is that he’ll play.
Rather than shift his in-game replacement from last week, Nate Herbig, to center, Brett Toth saw reps with the first team. It’s an indication that Kelce will, in fact, center the Eagles’ offense for a 118th-straight game.
“I can’t say enough good things about him,” Sirianni said of Kelce. “Not only do I think he’s one of the best offensive linemen that I’ve ever been around – and I’ve been around some good offensive linemen – I also think he’s the toughest guy I’ve ever been around.”
Granted, it was going to take more than this to keep him on the sidelines.
“I really care about the game, I care about my teammates, and I care about the sport and this team,” Kelce said. “So I just try to do everything I can. I think that’s the way it should be done and I think for the most part that’s the way guys in this organization go about it.”