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Former Eagles, Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi to Announce Retirement; Won Super Bowl in 2018

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 8, 2022

Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles running back Jay Ajayi is set to officially announce his retirement from the NFL.

The NFL's UK Twitter account confirmed the news as Ajayi, who last played in 2019, returns to Philly to serve as the team's honorary captain for Saturday night's Week 18 home game against the Dallas Cowboys:

NFL UK @NFLUK

Super Bowl champion Jay Ajayi is officially retiring from the NFL this weekend.<br><br>The London-born RB will be an honorary captain for the <a href="https://twitter.com/Eagles?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Eagles</a> tonight. πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸˆ<br><br>Congrats Jay, and all the best in retirement! <a href="https://t.co/uOFaontFsi">pic.twitter.com/uOFaontFsi</a>

Ajayi racked up 4,005 yards from scrimmage and 51 total touchdowns in 27 appearances across his final two college seasons at Boise State. The Dolphins proceeded to select him in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL draft.

The London native rushed for 1,272 yards and eight scores for Miami in 2016 to earn his only career Pro Bowl appearance.

He was traded to the Eagles midway through the 2017 season and served as the team's leading rusher in that year's playoffs. He ran for 184 yards, including 57 yards in the team's 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

Ajayi discussed that championship triumph with Jim Gehman of the Eagles' official website Friday:

"Getting the win against Tom Brady, it was like us against the world. Just special moments. Moments I won't forget. I'm a champion. We brought the first Super Bowl to Philly, and I'm a part of that. That's a very important time in my life. I'm grateful for everything, for what Philly did for me."

The punishing rusher suffered a torn ACL in Week 5 of the 2018 season. He re-signed with the Eagles late in the 2019 campaign after recovering from the knee injury, but he made just three appearances before getting released.

He didn't sign with any team during the 2020 or 2021 seasons.

Ajayi told Gehman he's looking forward to the chance of going out in front of the Lincoln Financial Field fans one more time Saturday night:

"The Linc is a special place. 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.
"And I know it's going to be a crazy game. You've got the 'Boys coming up and I know we've already made [the playoffs] but we've got work to do. We're not done. So I'm going to be there cheering my guys on, getting the stadium hyped up."

The Cowboys (11-5) and Eagles (9-7) have both clinched playoff berths but have an opportunities to improve their postseason seeding with a victory in the NFC East clash.

Meanwhile, Ajayi has tried his hand at competitive esports since leaving the NFL. He spent the 2020 season on the FIFA squad of the MLS' Philadelphia Union.

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