Luketa only had 30 minutes left in his drive to State Farm Stadium in Glendale when his car's tire became flat, the linebacker told AZfamily.com.
He stopped at a north Phoenix gas station to try and pump air back into it, but it remained deflated.
Pressed to make it in time for pre-game warm-ups, Luketa approached a family all dressed in Cardinals jerseys for a ride.
“At first, they didn’t believe I was a player, and I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m a player; I need to get to the stadium.’ " Luketa said.
The Phillips family made room in their car for him.
“Honestly, at the end of the day, we were just trying to help somebody out. It wasn’t the fact that he played football or didn’t,” J.W. Phillips said.
The family was able to watch their new friend make a tackle during the 37-14 loss to the Rams.
To show his appreciation, Luketa is giving the family tickets to the Cardinals' Dec. 17 home game against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Associated Press