The 35-year-old Philadelphia Eagles center mulled retirement before ultimately choosing to return for his 13th season in the NFL
Jason Kelce was considering retirement after the Super Bowl — but now he's committed to another season on the gridiron.
“Right now, I'm fully amped to play football,” the Philadelphia Eagles center, 35, tells PEOPLE. “Once you've come back and that commitment’s been made, you know, I'm full board. Just like I am any other season, it's harder, the physical pains, your ankles and things hurt a little bit more with every successful season.”
As the father of three returns for his 13th season in the league, past injuries and the brutal nature of the sport have seemingly caught up with him — and they’re a major storyline in the new Prime Video documentary Kelce, about his life — but fans won’t have to count out Kelce, at least for this year.
“I'm very comfortable with our coaches, that we have good strength conditioning, coaches and trainers that make sure that they're taking account” of how to keep him in playing shape, Kelce tells PEOPLE.
He adds, “And I think that undoubtedly helps me and right now we're getting ready to start a season. I'm, like, amped.”
With an offseason that saw Kelce, his wife Kylie, 31, and their three daughters Wyatt, 3, Elliotte, 2, and six-month-old Bennett Llewellyn doing a little traveling and enjoying some beach time before the season start, the rest and relaxation proved to be a good lead up to another year on the field.
For more on Jason and the entire Kelce family, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
Yet the decision to return wasn’t so clear-cut, the documentary reveals.
“It’s getting harder and harder to play," Kelce says in the film. "There have been little things that are not big things yet but are going to turn into big things the longer I play."
Kelce was drafted by the Eagles in 2011. A year later, he tore his MCL and suffered a partial tear to his ACL. In 2018, he played through the season with a Grade 2 MCL sprain and injuries to his foot, elbow and shoulder, according to Crossing Broad's report at the time.
While reflecting on her husband's decision in the documentary, Kylie says, "I don’t think that people realize the beating you're taking then impacts the way you interact with your family."
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
She adds that her husband has been telling her he plans to retire "for years" and thought that the timing would be perfect this past offseason with their third daughter being born right after the 2023 Super Bowl.
"I always tell people, no matter what happens with football, how it ends, I would like him to retire when he is still able to get down on the floor and play with our kids comfortably," Kylie shares.
But for now, playtime with a retired NFL star will have to wait a bit.
“I had a great training camp,” Jason tells PEOPLE. “I think we got a lot better as a team. We worked hard to iron out and fix mistakes and improved — strengths and weaknesses, and all the things that you enjoy doing … bringing value to those around you. And I think we're all excited to get the season going.”
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.