There were a range of possibilities for defensive back Eric Weddle workload in the Wild Card Round against the Cardinals. Ultimately, he played 19 of 56 defensive snaps (34%), and it was perfectly fine by him.
As Weddle continues make the most of this opportunity, he will continue to do whatever he can to help the Rams advance in the playoffs, no matter the scope of his role.
"Just getting another week, it'll only make me stronger physically, being able to play more if it's needed," Weddle said postgame. "Hopefully we get (safety Taylor) Rapp back. Whatever my role is, I'm good with, right? I'm not here to get in anyone's way other than push for greatness and be a guy that is accountable and gonna accept his role and be great at it."
That playing time was largely dictated by the flow of the game. Complementary performances between the Rams offense and defense allowed them to build a 21-0 lead before the Cardinals got a first down. That lead grew to 28-0 early in the third quarter, and midway through that quarter was when Weddle played his last snap of the game.
While Weddle did not record any stats Monday night, his impact was still tangibly felt in other ways.
"Just a veteran guy that understands the game," Donald said. "He's so smart. There was one play, he was able to show and then he's seeing the quarterback come check, he's able to jump back and mess things up for him and kind of make things a little blurry."
That experience is what allowed Weddle to make such a seamless transition. Even though the Rams are deploying a different system than the one he played in back in 2019 in his first stint with the team, Weddle said being able "look at something, digest it and be able to apply it" is what's made him the player he is and allowed him to translate in real-time. During practice last week, he said teammates and coaches were joking with him like he had been on the team all season with the way he was running around and making calls.
"It's like riding a bike," Rams outside linebacker Von Miller said Wednesday. "If you play all these years, it's just like riding a bike again. I don't want to speak for him, but it looks like he's just able to plug and play. Even though he was away from football, I don't think he was too far away from it. It shows."
Whether Rapp (concussion) is available or not for Sunday's Divisional Round playoff game against the Buccaneers in Tampa, the Rams will continue to count on Weddle as a key contributor to the defense.
"He's one of those guys that just elevates," Rams head coach Sean McVay said postgame. "We talk about igniters all the time, you make everybody around you better. That's what Eric Weddle is. I think he's only going to build on this for next week."