Herschel Walker, the former NFL star running back with the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles, and 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, recently drew attention with two major statements. The first: former USFL team owner Donald Trump would make a good NFL owner (Trump is one of several interested in purchasing the NFL’s Buffalo Bills). That’s not too earth-shattering. The really big one: Herchel Walker claims that – at 52 years of age, 16 years since his last NFL game – he could still lace up the cleats and play in the NFL – despite the fact that he’s qualified to join the AARP.
Important to note, Walker did not say that he has any actual plans to play in the NFL – or to join AARP, for that matter – but according to a Sports Illustrated report, he has said that he could contribute meaningfully to an NFL team despite being 52 years old. Herschel was careful to say that he doesn’t believe he could take every snap. Here’s how Walker put it:
“I can play in the NFL today. I couldn’t take every snap. But running backs nowadays don’t play every down. Now they send in the choir section. Physically, I can still do it.”
So does Herschel Walker singing the praises of Donald Trump tie in to his claim that he could still play in the NFL at age 52? Who knows? Maybe he’s trying to put the idea in Trump’s mind. The Buffalo Bills are already platooning their running backs – they didn’t have a 1,000 yard rusher in the 2013 NFL season – and it’s reasonable to think that Herschel Walker might want to play for a Trump-owned team…or at least as reasonable as suggesting that Walker could make an NFL comeback at age 52.
Or is it? Granted, there aren’t many who could play in any major sports league at age 52, but if anyone could, Herschel Walker just might be the guy. After all, he hasn’t exactly been sitting on the couch, joining the AARP, playing arm chair quarter back – or running back, for that matter – eating Cheetos and knocking back Buds. In recent years, Walker has not only trained hard, he has participated in MMA, winning his first two professional bouts.
If Herschel Walker were to return to the NFL, the former Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles star would become the oldest player in NFL history, but not by nearly as much as you might think. To date, the oldest player to play for an NFL team was George Blanda, who played his last game for the Oakland Raiders in 1975 at the age of 48. One major difference, however, is that Blanda – a quarterback and kicker – played 26 consecutive seasons before retiring. He didn’t take more than a decade off. Herschel Walker has.
What do you think? Could Walker make an NFL comeback or should he just take out that AARP membership? Could he be effective as a third down back or in other limited-use situations? Which NFL teams do you think could benefit from the play of a 52-year old Herschel Walker?
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