Lauren Silberman Becomes First Female to Try Out for NFL Kicker

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Lauren Silberman, 28, became the first woman to try out at a NFL regional combine on Sunday, only to become injured after two kicks. She attributed the injury to the fact that she hurt her right quadriceps while preparing for the tryouts earlier in the week. Her two kicks in the NY Jets practice facility travelled less than 20 yards.

''I tried staying off it and waited for today,'' she 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.''

Twitter offered a mixed bag of praise for Silberman breaking through the male-dominated sport to claims that she was simply putting on a publicity stunt. The NFL combine, usually largely ignored by the press, received attention because Silberman was there.

''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.''

Photographers and camera crews, including E! Entertainment network, watched Silberman's every move as she warmed up. She winced in pain when she took her first kick which she sent about 19 yards. She struggled to place the next football, which she sent only 13 yards. She then called for a trainer and appeared to be favoring her right leg as she left the practice field. ''They certainly didn't go as far as they were in practices,'' Silberman said. Her goal was a 60-yard field goal.

A former club soccer player at Wisconsin and ex-graduate student at MIT, Silberman never kicked a football at a competitive game. The NFL said she qualified for the combine because of her athletic background. ''Until they get here, we don't have any idea of what they're really going to turn out to do and how they're going to perform,'' said Stephen Austin, the NFL's director of regional combines.

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

Source: Fox Sports