Former NFL record-setting kicker Tom Dempsey tests positive for coronavirus, his daughter says
Former New Orleans Saints kicker Tom Dempsey, who set an NFL record that stood for four decades with a 63-yard field goal, has tested positive for coronavirus, his daughter told The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune.
Ashley Dempsey told the newspaper her father, who is battling Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, contracted the virus during an outbreak at a senior center where he lives in New Orleans. More than 50 residents at the center have been infected, officials said.
Dempsey, now 73, was born with without toes on his right foot and missing part of his right hand. He played 11 seasons in the NFL with the Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, Houston Oilers and Buffalo Bills.
His greatest achievement came on the final play of a game against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 8, 1970, when he set the record for the longest field goal in NFL history — connecting from 63 yards to give the Saints a 19-17 victory.
The record stood alone until it was tied in 1998 by the Denver Broncos' Jason Elam. The Broncos' Matt Prater finally broke it with a 64-yarder in 2013.
Dempsey becomes at least the third person connected to the Saints franchise to have contracted COVID-19. Head coach Sean Payton, who has since recovered, revealed he had tested positive on March 19. And on Saturday, Bobby Hebert Sr., the father of former Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, died following complications from the virus.