Former New Orleans Saints kicker Tom Dempsey, who authored one of the most famous moments in NFL history, has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Dempsey’s daughter, Ashley, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Ramon Antonio Vargas that her 73-year-old father tested positive. He caught it during an outbreak in the Lambeth House senior living center in New Orleans, Vargas reported. Dempsey’s symptoms are “relatively mild,” his daughter said. Dempsey is also battling battling Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
In 1970, Dempsey a record setting 63 yard field goal for the Saints to beat the Detroit Lions on the final play of the game. He held the record for decades and in the 50 years since that kick, only five other kickers have also hit a 63-yard field goal, starting with Denver’s Jason Elam in 1998. In 2013, Broncos kicker Matt Prater hit a 64-yard field goal to finally beat Dempsey’s record.
Dempsey and Graham Gano of the Carolina Panthers are the only kickers to make a fourth-quarter, game-winning kick of 63 yards or more in NFL history.
Dempsey, an All-Pro as a rookie in 1969, kicked for 11 NFL seasons with five teams: Saints, Eagles, Bills, Rams and Oilers. He was a long shot to make the NFL at all, considering he was born without toes on his right kicking foot. He wore a special shoe to kick in the NFL.
Our thoughts and prayers for Tom and his family. “He’s a fighter,” Ashley Dempsey told the Times-Picayune. “He’s been fighting his whole life.”
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