Sports Spectrum Weekly

New England Patriots RB Rex Burkhead to cap rollercoaster season in Super Bowl

The 2018-19 season has not gone as planned for New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead. He slightly tore a knee ligament during the preseason and had to miss games, and then three games into the regular season he suffered a neck injury that put him on injured reserve.

Thankfully, that took place early enough in the season that Burkhead was able to rejoin the Pats before the year ended, and he appeared in all five games in December. But in limited playing time, he managed just one touchdown.

In New England’s first playoff game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Burkhead received just five touches, though one of them was a six-yard rushing score.

He was much more involved Sunday night in the AFC Championship Game against Kansas City. Burkhead took 12 carries for 41 yards, and four receptions for 23 yards. But it was his two late rushing touchdowns that helped New England into its third straight Super Bowl.

Burkhead’s first TD came with 39 seconds remaining and put the Pats up 31-28:

His second TD was the game-winning score in overtime and sent New England to Super Bowl LIII:

All the while, Burkhead, who was a sixth-round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013 out of Nebraska, says he is “playing for Him.” He has referenced an “audience of One” and “for His glory” on social media, and he once told the Fellowship of Christian Athletes how his perspective changed once he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.

“Once I was saved and born again, Jesus worked in me and through me on changing my motivations when I played,” Burkhead said in a 2012 FCA video. “It was no longer for myself, for those worldly, I guess, desires and goals, but it was to play for the glory of Him. To give everything to Him. To play the way Jesus Christ would have played if He played the game of football or basketball, or whatever I was playing at the time and to be motivated by Him. To be motivated by using the blessings and gifts He’s given me as a football player, whatever I was doing at my time to glorify Him. In my actions, in my thoughts and try my best to do that.”

Burkhead’s next chance to glorify God with his play will be Feb. 3 against the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII.

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