Celebrating success on the streets of Philadelphia is a time-honored tradition among Eagles faithful. Although the team is in its offseason, players, coaches, staff, and the greater Eagles community will take to the streets, but this time to run, bike, or walk in support of the Eagles Autism Foundation.
A.J. Brown, Jason Kelce, and Dallas Goedert are among more than a record number of Eagles who have committed to participating in this year's Eagles Autism Challenge, which will include 30-mile and 10-mile bike rides, a 5k run, and a sensory walk.
"I'm excited, just to be around the fans and give back to the community," said wide receiver A.J. Brown, who will be doing the Wawa Junior/Shorti 10-mile ride.
Throughout the Eagles' exciting playoff run, the community was vitalized with passion for the team, and it carried over into an outpouring of support for the Eagles Autism Foundation. More than $1 million dollars was raised in support of EAF, and the organization's yearly fundraising efforts will culminate at the end of the month following this year's Challenge.
The event is the best opportunity to interact with your favorite Eagles players and give them encouragement before the 2023 season kicks off. There's still time to sign up! Use the promo code "SPRING23" and you will save 50% off registration.
Championed by Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie, the Eagles Autism Challenge sets out to fund innovative research, drive scientific breakthroughs, and provide critical resources to create a major shift from awareness to action. One hundred percent of participant-raised funds from the team's signature charity event are invested into the autism research and care community, with more than $16 million raised in its five years.
Eagles Autism Foundation is woven into the fabric of the team, and many have made it a priority to get involved. Nick Sirianni and Howie Roseman are set to participate in the FreedomPay 5K with their families, Brandon Graham will launch the start of the FreedomPay Sensory Walk, and nearly half of the roster will be on bikes, riding through the city on the 10-mile course.
Don't forget to keep an eye out for the team's 2023 rookie class – the new players will be cheering on all participants at water stops on the 5K path!
"I'm gonna bike. It's my first time biking. Last year I gave out water, so this year, I'm gonna bike. Hopefully, there aren't too many hills," Nakobe Dean said after he signed up.
"I probably haven't rode a bike in like five or six years!"
The tight ends room has already begun planning a friendly competition – Grant Calcaterra has high hopes to finish first among the lot – predicting Goedert as a close second.
Similarly, the secondary's competitiveness has ramped up as well. Second-year safety Reed Blankenship is excited to graduate from waterboy to cyclist, so he can take on his teammates.
"I didn't ride it last year, but I'm ready to beat Josh Jobe. He thinks he can beat me right now," Blankenship said, as center Cam Jurgens walked past him in the NovaCare Complex.
"Cam! I'm going to beat him too, because I know he's about to bike."
Jurgens, however, elects for a more casual ride. Even as a rookie, he chose to bike.
"I'm just steady, though. Steady pace. I like to have fun," Jurgens said, laughing.
"It was fun last year. Me and Landon (Dickerson) were kind of trailing by the end!"
For some players, like K'Von Wallace, the most exciting part of the Eagles Autism Challenge is the opportunity to reunite with teammates and fans after a short stint away.
"Getting with the guys and getting with the fans, there's always love and positivity. I'm excited for that," Wallace said.
For Tarron Jackson, the event is a special opportunity to express his support for the autism community.
"One of my friends has two daughters who have autism, so I'm excited to be a part of it," said Jackson, who will bike 10 miles.
The entire Eagles organization comes together at the Eagles Autism Challenge to inspire and engage the community, so everyone can provide much-needed support to make a lasting impact in the field of autism.