Legendary NFL kicker Tom Dempsey is the latest former professional athlete to test positive for COVID-19.
Dempsey is an NFL legend. The former kicker was born without any toes on his right foot, placing him at a physical disadvantage. But a custom-made cleat allowed Dempsey the ability to kick field goals – a skill at which he excelled.
During his rookie season with the Saints, Dempsey set the NFL record with a 63-yard field goal in 1969. The former kicker played for five NFL teams in total including the Saints, Bills, Eagles, Rams and Oilers.
The 73-year-old currently lives at a New Orleans senior living facility as he suffers from dementia. Dempsey is one of several residents at the facility to recently test positive for coronavirus. According to Dempsey’s daughter, the former NFL kicker is experiencing mild symptoms and is doing well.
“His appetite has been good,” Ashley Dempsey told NOLA.com. “He’s doing OK. . . . He’s a fighter. He’s been fighting his whole life.”
We’re certainly hoping for the best in this frightening situation.
Dempsey’s legacy is one of fighting, as his daughter points out. He surpassed all odds during his time in the NFL.
The former NFL kicker’s modified cleat – which consisted of a flat surface along the front edge of the shoe – is on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.