Lauren Silberman, First Woman NFL Kicker Tryout, Hobbled

Monday, 04 Mar 2013 11:14 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Lauren Silberman, who made history on Sunday by becoming the first women to try out as a kicker in the National Football League, fell short of her goal of being drafted because of an injury suffered earlier in the week while practicing.

Despite the painful injury to her right quadriceps, the 28-year-old former soccer player made two kickoff attempts, neither of which traveled more than 20 yards.

"I tried staying off it and waited for today," Silberman said. "I didn't even take kicks in warm-ups, and, it's pretty hard to know that you'll be in pain, and I wanted to work through it and I certainly tried to, but I just couldn't do it today."

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A former club soccer player at the University of Wisconsin and ex-graduate student at MIT, Silberman is reportedly seen during the tryout grabbing her right leg before taking 20 seconds to correctly place the football on the tee before making her attempt, reported The Associated Press.

Silberman had no prior experience kicking a football in a competitive setting.

After the failed attempts, Silberman walked off the field in Florham Park, N.J., where the New York Jets practice, and sought attention from a trainer.

"I'm just really happy I had this amazing experience," Silberman said. "I might be the first woman trying out for the NFL, but I certainly hope I'm not the last."

When asked by reporters how far she had kicked footballs in the weeks leading up to the tryout, Silberman refused to provide a distance.

"It's still hard to exactly say, but I just got better day by day," she said with a smile. "The distance is getting there."

Silberman's athletic background qualified her for the tryout, said Stephen Austin, the NFL's director of regional combines.

"Our job is to evaluate talent and not leave any stone unturned," Austin said. "We want young, athletic people who have played a sport, typically in college or military or small schools."

Silberman paid a $275 registration fee to compete and said if given the opportunity, she would come back and try again in the future.

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"I would certainly be very, very excited and happy if I had the opportunity to try again," she said, "but it's not up to me. It's up to the scouts."

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