At around 2:30 this morning, Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek was the passenger in a vehicle that crashed into a barrier on a highway off-ramp. All reports indicate that nobody, including Celek, sustained injuries. The crash, apparently DUI related, occurred in South Philadelphia, however Celek is not expected to face any charges.
Seeing as how the talented tight end turned 27 Wednesday evening, one can only speculate that he was returning home from the evening’s celebration. Celek released a statement through the organization that he did not know the driver of the vehicle was drunk, but he did acknowledge his lapse in judgment and vowed not to let anything of this nature happen again.
Celek had a bounce back year at tight end for Philadelphia in 2011, after an incredibly disappointing campaign the prior year in which he caught 42 balls for 511 yards and 4 touchdowns. In contrast, 2011 saw the 6 foot 4 inch tight end haul in 62 catches for 811 yards and 5 touchdowns. Those totals put him 2nd on the team in receptions and he joined DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin as the first trio in Eagles history to each top 800 receiving yards in a single season. Many of the catches this year came at crucial times, as Celek’s 35 grabs for first downs indicate.
What makes Celek’s performance in 2011 even more impressive than what is simply listed in the stat line is the fact that he reportedly played the last three weeks of the season with a sports hernia and a torn labrum, for which he underwent surgery at the beginning of January. To put that into context, either one of those injuries would have been likely to keep a mere mortal out of the lineup for the remainder of the season. Celek, on the other hand, put up huge numbers in those games, totaling 294 yards and three touchdowns on 13 catches. In my mind, the fact that he played through both of those injuries concurrently and did not make them known until after the season puts him at the top of the list for leaders in a locker room that desperately needs them to emerge.