Jennifer Welter becomes first woman to play running back in a pro football game

Welter carried the ball three times during game between the Texas Revolution and the North Texas Crunch.
Posted By Evan Blleier   |   Feb. 19, 2014 at 10:56 AM   |   Comments

ALLEN, Texas, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Jennifer Welter made history over the weekend by becoming the first woman to ever play a non-kicking position during a professional football league game.

Welter played running back during an Indoor Football League game between the Texas Revolution and the North Texas Crunch, carrying the ball three times for negative-one yards. Welter’s team, the Revolution, won the preseason game 64-30.

Her first tote came from two yards out of the end zone midway through the third quarter. Welter tried to take the ball around left tackle but her 5-foot-2, 130-pound frame was stuffed by 6-4, 245-pound defensive lineman Cedric Hearvey for a one-yard loss.

“I said, ‘Is that all you got?'" Welter said she told Hearvey after the hit, according to the Dallas Morning News. “They (Crunch players) were getting all alive, and I had to say something. I didn’t want them to think I was intimidated.”

The 36-year-old has played linebacker for a decade for the Dallas Diamonds of the Women's Football Alliance.

“Honestly, it was very weird,” Hearvey said following the game. "Part of me wanted to let her score, but part of me had a job. So I was like, ‘Can y’all please take her out?' Honestly, I really have a lot of respect for that lady over there.”

He’s not the only one.

“I’ve been impressed with her grit and her desire,” said Revolution coach Chris Williams. “And even, in some cases, in the beginning I thought even delusional thoughts that she had about being able to play the game. But as I watched her, I’m impressed with how she comes to work every day.”

[Dallas Morning News]

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