Hours before Thursday night's nationally televised NFL game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Carolina Panthers, members of the visiting Eagles gathered at their hotel pool — but a relaxing swim wasn't on the agenda.
Instead, they lined up around one end of the pool's deck, held hands and bowed their heads while teammate Marcus Johnson got baptized, CBS News reported.
First time being Baptized! Corporate Worship is a beautiful thing!! Cleansed & Reborn in JESUS name!!📢🙏🏾… https://t.co/2yUGbntyE4— MJ (@MJ)1507831163.0
"First time being Baptized!" the wide receiver tweeted. "Corporate Worship is a beautiful thing!! Cleansed & Reborn in JESUS name!!"
The Eagles went on the beat the Panthers 28-23, improving to an NFC best 5-1 record.
Faith is a driving force with a number of Eagles players, primary among them is rising star quarterback Carson Wentz, who's open about sharing and declaring his faith in Christ.
“I always tell people, for example, if you love your job, you love your wife, you love what you do, you’re going to talk about it,” Wentz told CSNPhilly. “Well, I love Jesus …”
Wentz appeared to be one of the players in the photo with Johnson, CBS News said, along with tight end Zach Ertz, offensive guard Stefen Wisniewski, tight end Trey Burton, linebacker Jordan Hicks and backup quarterback Nick Foles.
In addition to their practice huddles ending with shouts of "1, 2, 3, Jesus!" an earlier CBS News story noted that Wentz appeared in two separate devotional video series created for YouVersion's Bible app.
The Eagles have "an already hefty contingent of players grounded in their Christian beliefs," CBS News added, noting that it's "expanded in 2017 to the point that it's virtually become linked to the team's core."