PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a stab to the heart for all Eagles fans.
A participant in Wing Bowl 22, a guy who is often seen at local bars and restaurants just hanging out, Eagles center Jason Kelce is just a dude’s dude—a fan favorite here in Philadelphia. So when news broke earlier in the week that Kelce, arguably the best center in all of football, would need sports hernia surgery it was tough to swallow.
Kelce calls into the 94WIP Morning Show every Friday morning, and despite the injury this Friday was no exception. The classy 26-year-old center remains optimistic about his recovery.
“My goal really is to be back, you know, right around the Panthers game [week 10], maybe a little bit sooner would be preferable, but you never know with these surgeries,” Kelce told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show.
Kelce said he suffered the injury blocking and described it like a “piece of paper being ripped.” He had been experiencing pain in that area all season long.
“I’ve been playing with some pain in that area for pretty much the whole season this year,” Kelce said, “and that’s not uncommon. A lot of guys play through these sports hernias before they get really bad—I shouldn’t call it a sports hernia—the core abdominal injury. That’s what I’ve been told to call it.”
Out with the injury, Kelce was obviously not on the field for all the theatrics that took place in the second-half of last Sunday’s game. So what did he think of Chris Baker’s hit on Nick Foles and Jason Peters’ reaction to it?
“I mean I was able to kind of watch on TV in the training room, but you know, I thought it was outstanding the way he got up time and time again,” Kelce said of Foles. “And I can’t emphasize enough how much I freakin’—I’ve always had respect for Jason Peters, never have I ever not had respect for him, but that was such an awesome move from a guy who is really charged with protecting the quarterback to the fullest.”
“Jason Kelce, class act,” Cataldi said right after their phone conversation. “I love this guy, I really do.”
By the way, the Eagles host the Panthers on November 10th for a Monday Night Football game. That would be a pretty special return.
Some fans were so moved by the interview, they expressed their gratitude and best wishes to Kelce on Twitter:
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