It was less than two years ago when Nick Foles thought about retiring from football. He seriously contemplated, at 26, walking away from a game he's played his whole life, a game he loves.
On Sunday, he'll play for the chance to play on football's greatest stage.
After a disappointing 2015 season with the Rams, Foles was eventually granted his release from the organization on July 27, 2016. Before he signed with the Chiefs on Aug. 3, Foles did some serious soul-searching.
During that week, he spent time talking to his wife Tori and then he leaned on his Christian faith to come up with his answer.
"I literally said a prayer," Foles said, "and my heart said go back."
Foles reunited with Andy Reid, the guy who drafted him in 2012 out of Arizona, and he said that decision made him a better person. After the Chiefs didn't pick up his option last offseason, Foles came back to Philadelphia where his career started and once hit its highest peak. He came back in a different role, obviously, as Carson Wentz's backup. But things happen and ACLs sometimes tear. The Eagles are now relying on Foles as their starting quarterback.
Now, thanks to his choice to re-find happiness in football, Foles is one win away from playing in the Super Bowl.
"It wasn't an easy decision," Foles said on Wednesday. "It's not like it was 100 percent, but my faith and my guidance and the way I felt like going into that experience allowed me to grow to make me a better player now because you experience those emotions, you go through that. I mean, it's an emotional thing. It's something I've done my entire life, and to go through that and make that decision, that wasn't easy.
"But I leaned on my wife, I leaned on my family and I leaned on my faith in those moments, and I'm very grateful I made the decision I did and we made it together."
The fact that Foles will start in the NFC Championship Game against his former teammate Case Keenum isn't lost on him. Both have been benched, turned into backups, thrown into the trash heap and now resurrected.
He said the biggest message to take from it is to never give up on yourself. While Foles almost gave up on football, he never gave up on himself.
Foles calls the week he spent contemplating his football future the best thing that ever happened to him. He knows he's not the only NFL player who felt that way or questioned whether or not they should walk away.
"We're professional athletes and we have moments where we step back and we have to think and assess everything in life," Foles said. "Like I have a family, I have a wife, I have a daughter, I have a dog. I have to step back and focus on that because that's so important to me.
"I'm so fortunate that I have my wife there to talk these things through and in these moments where we're playing for this Championship Game, like you do reflect. A few days ago, you just sit there, and I sat there with my wife and we just talked about how blessed we are to be in this moment.
"But I know where my heart is and my heart was all being in Philly, being with these guys, going out there on the field, like stepping in the huddle and knowing that each guy is playing for each other, that's a special thing and that's been the testament of this season. And you know it's an honor and blessing to be here and play in this game."