Underneath MetLife Stadium, Eagles safety Sydney Brown was in the locker room on the phone with his brother Chase while his teammates were battling on the field in the regular-season finale.
It was an emotional call, to say the least – Brown had just torn his ACL.
"We both shared a few tears in that moment," Brown said. "He is the first person I always call, my go-to guy. I just had to get something off my chest."
Sydney's identical twin brother Chase is a running back who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Chase and Sydney became the sixth set of twins to be selected in the same draft over the last 40 years.
Chase sent Sydney a video while they were on the phone, a clip that has inspired many and is being used by Sydney for motivation as he starts his road to recovery.
In The Dark Night Rises, a 2012 film directed by Christopher Nolan, Batman climbed out of The Pit, a prison in the ancient part of the world, without a rope.
Nearly every person who attempted to climb out failed, but not Batman. As he was climbing, the other prisoners chanted "deshi basara," an Arabic term meaning "rise up."
Sydney has taken the meaning of that scene to heart, also knowing that he has a strong support system.
"It is remarkable," he said. "It's one of those moments where you realize that is what the grind is going to be like. That's what it's going to be exactly like when you reach it; it's going to be quite satisfying."
"There's not a lot of people that can get out of that pit," Chase said to Sydney on the phone. "It's really what you make of it. You're going to get out of there faster than anybody could."
Brown suffered the non-contact injury on a special teams play just minutes into the final game of the regular season against the New York Giants on January 7.
After getting up, he felt that his right leg was unstable. Brown was able to walk off the field on his own power, but was carted to the locker room after being examined in the blue medical tent on the sideline.
"I knew in the moment but didn't really accept it until I was under the tent," Brown said.
"You learn a lot about who you are when you are down deep in those dark moments. You learn why you love the game because it can be taken away from you so fast."
The rookie was in good spirits during locker room cleanout day on Wednesday as he looked back on his first season and talked about what lies ahead.
In 14 games this season, Brown had 38 tackles, three pass deflections, one interception, and one forced fumble. Brown started six games this season including three of the last four.
In the final home game of the season, Brown recorded his first interception and touchdown. His 99-yard touchdown tied for the fourth-longest interception in franchise history.
"I had a lot of fun," Brown said. "Obviously, not where we wanted to finish, but I think personally there's a lot of lessons I learned as a rookie that I'll carry on in my career. I'm in love with this game and want to continue to prove to myself why I'm the best."
Brown has a long road ahead before he can get back to playing the game he loves so much.
The 23-year-old will have surgery to repair his torn ACL on Thursday, January 25. Brown will spend the first part of his rehab in Philadelphia before returning to Champaign, Illinois to continue his recovery at the University of Illinois, his alma mater.
He hopes to return for Week 1 next season, even setting a goal for himself to be back by Training Camp.
"I'm going to absolutely dominate this process," Brown said. "I've got another opportunity to prove myself this offseason, show what I'm made of, and how I can persevere through this; this is going to be nothing. I'm going to do everything to be back better than I was when I left the field in New York."
On Wednesday, January 17, Eagles players cleaned out their lockers and participated in a final media availability session before leaving the NovaCare Complex for the offseason. Check out the best images from inside the locker room!