Female Kicker’s NFL Tryout Falls Short

By: ABC News Email
By: ABC News Email

NEW YORK (ABC NEWS) - Lauren Silberman became the first woman in history to try out for the NFL when the kicker participated Sunday in the New York Jets’ regional combine, but she didn’t have much of a chance to show what she could do.

Silberman attempted just two kicks — one that went 19 yards and the other just 13 — before she asked to see a trainer, suffering from an injury to her quadriceps that she said happened while she was training for the tryout.

“The minute I kind of touched the ball, my quad, I could just feel tense up and hurt. It was really painful as soon as I made full impact,” Silberman said Sunday.

While the end result was not what she had hoped for, it was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.

“I’ve always been an athlete, and I’ve always been a gamer,” she said later. “When I had the opportunity to be in the NFL, one of the world’s most competitive leagues, I absolutely had to take the chance.”

The 28-year-old New Yorker had said she hoped her powerful foot would impress the scouts and earn her an invite to an NFL training camp as a kicker.

“It would be a lifelong dream come true,” Silberman told ABC News.

Silberman is a University of Wisconsin and Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate and a former college club soccer player.

While she is new to the gridiron, Silberman had said she hoped her years of studying sports video games would give her an advantage.

The historical significance of Silberman’s tryout was not lost on ABC News sports consultant Christine Brennan.

“What Lauren is trying to do is something that’s incredibly admirable, shows her confidence, her comfort level, her love of sports,” Brennan said. “That statement should reverberate throughout the United States.”

Silberman’s tryout came one week after NASCAR driver Danica Patrica sped into the history books, becoming the first woman to take the pole position at the Daytona 500 and the first to lead a lap in the race.

Patrick finished the race in eighth place, the best showing ever for a woman in the Daytona 500.

Silberman said she was proud to have the opportunity to achieve her goal, even if some view it as a long shot.

“Hopefully, even if this doesn’t work out, I can contribute and strengthen the league one day in a different way,” she said. “So we’ll see where this goes.”

As for the NFL teams that watched her performance, Silberman has one simple message.

“Please give me one more chance! I was injured,” she said.


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