Jason Kelce is like that bunny in the old battery commercial – he just keeps on going and going.
The Philadelphia Eagles center certainly has shown no signs of slowing down. The front office keeps trying to draft his replacement, but, so far, that replacement hasn’t been needed.
Two years ago, it was Landon Dickerson arriving in the second round.
Kelce came back for Dickerson’s rookie season, so the Alabama product settled at left guard and has made that position his home.
Last year, the Eagles drafted Cam Jurgens in the second round. Kelce came back and now it appears as if Jurgens will battle to be the right guard. If he wins the position and plays well, there may be no going back for him.
Maybe the Eagles try to draft Kelce’s replacement in 2024.
Maybe they won’t need whoever that is, either.
“I feel good, for the most part,” said Kelce on May 17. “I have little nagging things that you kind of got to figure out and take care of. But for the most part, I feel good for where I’m at right now. I’m still strong. I’m still able to run around and move around at a high level, so I feel confident.”
Kelce will turn 36 in early November and hasn’t missed a start since Oct. 26, 2014. That’s nearly nine years and 141 consecutive starts ago.
Kelce knows eventually his time will come to ride into the sunset, but he has no idea when that will be.
He is planning for it, though. His successful podcast, ‘New Heights,’ is helping him to prepare.
“I know the time is coming to an end,” he said. “I want to make sure I’m in a good position once I get done playing, that I have outlets. The problem is that I just keep playing, so I have all these other things going on that I wish I had waited on.”
When it comes to the R-word, Kelce truly has no idea, only an intangible notion.
“I think retirement becomes an easier decision when you know firmly what you want to do,” he said. “But I just keep coming back to (offensive line coach) Jeff Stoutland and my wife says pretty much the same thing: ‘When you don’t want to play, you’ll know it.’
“And you’re going to firmly not want to do it. It’s not going to be fun anymore. And I say, ‘I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.’ And they’re like, ‘No, one day you’re going to wake up, and you’re not going to want to do this.’
“I guess there are days when I don’t want to do this, but I think that largely, over the course of a season, I still really enjoy coming in. I still feel like I can do it. I still feel like I’m healthy enough to do it. And I can do it the right way, so that’s pretty much the biggest reason why.”