Jay Ajayi ran for 2,546 yards in his six-year NFL career, none more memorable than the 57 he gained in Super Bowl LII. The one-time Pro Bowler was a key cog for the Philadelphia Eagles’ championship team. So it’s only fitting he retired under the lights at Lincoln Financial Field.
Ajayi served as an Eagles’ honorary captain for the regular-season finale against Dallas. He was ecstatic to return to the place where he won his lone Super Bowl ring. And see those wild midnight-green wearing crazies one final time in the stands.
“The Linc is a special place,” Ajayi told the Eagles’ website. “The fans, they’re amazing. They either love you or they hate you, but they’re going to give you what it is. And that’s what I liked, keeping it real with me 100 percent of the time. I loved it there.”
The 28-year-old running back hasn’t seen a snap since December 9, 2019. With no teams calling, Ajayi decided to officially submit his retirement papers and continue to work on his post-playing music career. He has been putting out rap records under the alias Finesse and recently dropped a 10-song album called The Motive.
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Eagles List 10 Players Inactive vs. Dallas
The suspense is over. Gardner Minshew started Saturday night’s regular-season finale against the Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles left Jalen Hurts and nine other players inactive for Week 18. No surprises there. They went without Hurts, Darius Slay, Javon Hargrave, Miles Sanders, Anthony Harris, Lane Johnson, Josh Sweat, Landon Dickerson, Derek Barnett, Steven Nelson.
Jason Kelce was active and started his 122nd consecutive game. He played one snap, then took a seat on the bench. Meanwhile, receivers DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor both played the first series. The Eagles decided to treat Week 18 like a preseason game with their playoff spot locked up.
Head coach Nick Sirianni cautioned anyone from calling the Eagles-Cowboys game meaningless. He told reporters that the intensity level at practice was no different than any other week.
“Not even a little bit,” Sirianni said. “Again, that’s just with what we’ve preached all year, what are players are like on this football team, that everyone is preparing like they’re playing in this football game. I notice no difference.”
Cowboys Playing Starters, List 5 Inactive
Dallas kept saying they would play their starters in Week 18 and they did. The Cowboys only listed four players inactive: CB Trevon Diggs, QB Will Grier, RB Tony Pollard, WR Simi Fehoko, DT Quinton Bohanna. That means starting quarterback Dak Prescott was active. And he was welcomed with a loud chorus of boos from the Philly faithful at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Cowboys can still clinch the No. 2 seed if they win and if the Rams, Cardinals, Buccaneers all lose on Sunday. Or Dallas can take the No. 3 seed if they win coupled with these three outcomes: Buccaneers beat Panthers, 49ers beat Rams, Seahawks beat Cardinals. Otherwise, they are locked into the No. 4 seed.
“We’re going to line up to do what we need to do to win the game,” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said, via Jon Machota. “I think playing up there in the weather in Philadelphia will serve us well.”