Alex Singleton Persevered and the LB is Now Playing for a Cause

Ed Kracz

Alex Singleton still remembers those 90-minute drives from Los Angeles International Airport with his mom, Kim, after yet another disappointing setback in his vision quest to make an NFL roster. 

She’d pick him up and they would return to their home in Ventura County.

“I remember it being kind of hard on her,” said Singleton.

Those hard times have paid off and now Singleton hears excitement in his mom’s voice when he talks to her and other family members in California. After five years of perseverance, Singleton has a role on the Eagles’ defense.

“I kind of hear (the excitement) when I talk to them, but I don’t think I’ll ever realize (he is now living his dream in the NFL) until my playing days are over and, hopefully, I will have accomplished everything in my mind that I think I can as a player,” said Singleton.

Singleton tried for five years to make it into the NFL, making an extended pit stop in the Canadian Football League along the way, winning a Grey Cup for the Calgary Stampeders and becoming an accomplished, and popular, defender.

He latched on with the Eagles last year, playing 10 games, all on special teams.

Singleton was waived three times by the Seahawks and once by the Patriots in 2015, once by the Vikings in 2016 then again by the Eagles after training camp in 2019. He returned to Philadelphia’s practice squad and was signed off of it on Oct. 6, 2019, and he is still here.

“I just do everything I can for this team,” said Singleton. “Even after the pick or whatever. I think it’s been so long I don’t think I’ll even realize what it’s taken to even get a defensive snap in the NFL until my playing days are over.”

Ah, the pick.

Singleton returned his first NFL interception 30 yards for a touchdown in the team’s lone win two weeks ago in San Francisco. He played 15 snaps that night then 28 against Pittsburgh.

With the Eagles down another linebacker – Duke Riley has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens and T.J. Edwards is on Injured Reserve – Singleton’s snap count figures to rise.

With an increase in playing time could also come an increase in tackles, and that is a very good thing, not only for the Eagles but also for Special Olympics PA.

When the season began, Singleton asked for pledges for each tackle he makes with the proceeds going to Special Olympics PA, via a program Singleton called Tackling Inclusion.

Singleton’s older sister, Ashley, has Down's syndrome, but that has not stopped her from excelling in swimming and bowling in the Special Olympics.

“For anyone who doesn’t know, for every tackle I get this season, however much you donated, it can be from $1 to $10 dollars to however much, every tackle, and you can do it per game or the whole season, goes to Tackling Inclusion, which will donate every dollar to Special Olympics PA. That’s a huge thing for me.”

So far, Singleton has six tackles on defense and three on special teams.

“Every opportunity I get to be on the field, it’s one of those things it’s always in the back of my mind the people I’m playing for,” he said. “I’m thankful for every extra rep I get in a game, every tackle I get, it’s kind of the first thing I think about is helping that group of individuals who are going to benefit from something I get to do for a living and love to do, but also to be able to give back to a community I support, and really excited they get to be involved with football as well.”

Singleton, who has two other siblings in addition to Ashley, expects to have family at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, now that about 5,500 of them will be allowed, and again four days later when the Eagles host the New York Giants.

Ashley won’t be among them, but Singleton said he has been sending her gameday footballs, and no doubt one of them was from his pick-six against the 49ers.

“She wants to come to a game,” he said. “Sadly, this weekend, my other sister, I do have other siblings, I have two other siblings, my brother will be coming this weekend which is really exciting and he’s going to stay for the Sunday and Thursday, so I will have family.

“My other sister is having surgery. My mom’s sister and dad are staying back. But they’re itching to come. I think they’ve already circled Dallas (Nov. 1) as the game they’re coming to.”

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