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Well, that didn’t work out so well: first female to try out for NFL injures herself on second kick attempt

Mar 4, 2013, 11:25 AM EDT

Lauren Silberman Participates at NFL Regional Scouting Combine Getty Images

And David Akers’ job is safe for another day.

As you surely know, Lauren Silberman was attempting to become the first woman to play in the NFL, and in fact, was the first female to even try out. That ended on Sunday when she injured herself on only her second kickoff attempt during the NFL Regional Scouting Combine at the Atlantic Health Training Center in Floram Park, New Jersey.

Silberman, who said that she was so worried about a previous leg injury that she didn’t even warm up, took only two kickoff attempts — the first went just 16 yards, the second 14. She then left the field with an ice pack pressed to her leg.

This left some, among them Filip Bondy of the New York Daily News, to speculate on whether this all may have been a publicity ploy.

Silberman, 28, later cited an injured quad as the problem, yet there was more to it than that. It is every qualified woman’s nightmare, a moment like this, when a surprisingly unprepared job candidate attempts to play ball with the men. One gender barrier may have been breached on Sunday, but this anemic display did no female any great favors. There are women field goal kickers, like Katie Hnida at the University of New Mexico, who have accomplished far more as competent pioneers.

“I’ve always been a gamer, I tried to work through it but I couldn’t today,” Silberman said of her injury. “I know I can do more. Hopefully the scouts will look at my technique. It’s not just length. It’s form.”

But when the length dips below 20 yards on a kickoff, I’d definitely begin to worry.

source: Getty Images

Not sure why she’s lining up a kickoff attempt, but then I’ve never been a kicker.

source: Getty Images

Silberman, a club soccer player from Wisconsin, wrote a Master’s thesis at MIT about athletes using video games to better their performance.

  1. rmfields - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    If she kicks the ball at full strength… she might be a decent onside kick specialist.

  2. skids003 - Mar 5, 2013 at 7:59 AM

    Rick, it looks like you are making fun of her, but since you’re a liberal, surely you wouldn’t do that?