Facing the finality that the postseason brings, the Philadelphia Eagles could be playing their last game of the season on Sunday, and their All-Pro center could be playing the last of his career.
Eagles center Jason Kelce has pondered hanging it up for a few seasons now, and though he made no bold declarations Thursday, he's well aware his final game could come sooner than later.
"You know I think, it was maybe three years ago -- I think that might've been Doug [Pederson]'s last year -- it was on my mind quite a bit," said Kelce, a five-time All-Pro selection. "So, I've learned now that I don't know when that last game's going to come. Maybe I think about it a little bit less. There's always a chance that's going to be the situation. But, you just try to think about the game and focus on taking in the moment and being 100 percent there. It's hard enough doing it that way. It's going to be a lot harder if you're not focused."
While Kelce, 35, might have begun pondering retirement in Pederson's final year, it was after Nick Sirianni's first year that the Pro Bowler announced he was "having way too much fun" and would be coming back for the current season. The announcement followed Sirianni joking about sending Kelce some kegs of beer to convince him to stick around.
Whether Sirianni will need to call on more suds or Kelce will contemplate hanging up his cleats remains to be seen. He could have one or two more games left this season or for his career. And if he reaches the Super Bowl, he could face off with his brother Travis and the Kansas City Chiefs.
But in the here and now, Jason Kelce is just focused on playing the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, which is an approach he says the whole team is taking.
"We all know the circumstances, it's one and done from here on out, you know playoffs, you're only guaranteed the next one," said the 12-year veteran. "The formula's and everything's the same. You lock in during the week, you work hard, you practice hard, you work on your fundamentals and techniques. Trust your coaching and go out there and play."