Five months ago, All-Pro punter Brett Kern didn’t know if he would ever play in an NFL game again. The 15-year veteran was released by the Tennessee Titans during final roster cuts after 13 seasons with the organization.
Kern made sure he was prepared in case a team called. Weeks turned into months. Then Philadelphia Eagles punter Arryn Siposs got injured in the team’s Week 14 win over the New York Giants.
All of a sudden, there was a 12-1 team in need of a punter. Philadelphia signed Kern, who soon found himself punting in the NFC championship game.
“It feels great going from what happened after preseason to just kind of waiting week by week, just kind of staying in shape, staying ready,” he said after the Eagles advanced to Super Bowl LVII. “I just really didn’t know who’s going to call or if I was going to get a call.”
Kern was one of the spiritual leaders within the Titans locker room and mentioned leading Bible studies and chapels in his tweet thanking the organization following his release.
Thank you Titans Family 💙 pic.twitter.com/Z7jFFQIJWs
— Brett Kern (@brettkern6) August 29, 2022
He left Tennessee as the franchise’s all-time leader in punts (923), gross punting average (45.9), net punting average (40.8) and punts inside the 20 (373) while making the Pro Bowl in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
As difficult as saying goodbye to the Titans was, Kern kept believing God had something else in store for him even though he wasn’t sure what it was.
“When I got released from Tennessee, it was tough,” he told Sports Spectrum during Monday’s Super Bowl Opening Night. “It was really tough, but I knew from past experiences that, ‘All right Lord, You have something here, whether I’m done with football or there’s another team that calls.'”
Kern made his debut for Philadelphia in Week 15 and has appeared in every game since. He punted a total of seven times in the Eagles’ two playoff games, holding opponents to 14 return yards.
“When you’ve been in one place for 13 years, to come somewhere else, put on a different uniform, is a little weird,” he told Sports Spectrum. “But I’ve definitely gotten used to it, and my family’s gotten used to it. It’s definitely been a blessing.”
Philadelphia opened the 21-day practice window for Siposs after the NFC championship game, which is the first step toward a possible return for the Super Bowl. The team has not made a decision on who its punter will be.
Whether he plays a key role Sunday or doesn’t see the field at all, Kern is grateful for the journey that’s led him to his first Super Bowl. He wants everyone to know that journey is about what God has done rather than what he’s done.
“That’s my story, the story of where God has brought me through this whole process and the little things I’ve learned along the way,” Kern told Sports Spectrum. “Whenever my career is done, yeah, they’re gonna know me as a punter and whatnot. That’s great, but I want people to know that I was faithful to my wife, that I love Jesus. That’s the most important things to me.”
Kickoff between Kern’s Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs is set for 6:30 p.m. ET.
– Spiritual leader, All-Pro punter Brett Kern released by Titans after 13 seasons
– SS PODCAST: ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky on prayer, obedience, Super Bowl LVII
– Chiefs star Nick Bolton grateful for growth as ‘follower of Christ’ ahead of SB
– Eagles WR A.J. Brown aims to let God ‘direct my paths,’ is now in Super Bowl
– Dan Meers using role as Chiefs mascot to be ‘hands and feet of Jesus’
– Super Bowl-bound Eagles coach Nick Sirianni fueled by faith, family, football
– Owner Clark Hunt leads with faith in Christ as Chiefs prepare for Super Bowl
– QB Jalen Hurts leads Eagles to Super Bowl as he puts his trust in God’s hands
– Patrick Mahomes leads KC to Super Bowl, says God ‘healed my body this week’
– SS PODCAST: Eagles chaplain Ted Winsley on faith amid Super Bowl run
– SS PODCAST: Chiefs chaplain Marcellus Casey on faith amid Super Bowl run