The 5 Second NFL Career

by Frank S. Collins

Reading the "The 10 Best and Worst One-Game Careers in NFL History" by Ryan Winn reminded me of what may be the shortest one-game career in NFL History.

On Nov. 30, 1998, Ryan Sutter was activated from the Carolina Panther's practice squad for his first NFL game. The Panther's were hurting at safety and the local media presented the situation as "an average Joe finally gets a chance."

Sutter's NFL career began with the opening kickoff and ended about five seconds later. During the kickoff Sutter raced down the field and tried to arm tackle the return man. This resulted in a major injury to his shoulder. After the game, Sutter was put on injured reserve. He was never able to make a successful comeback.

In the movie "Field of Dreams," and the book "Shoeless Joe," Moonlight Graham was the featured real-life baseball player who only played one major league game and never batted. While Moonlight Graham went on to lead an ordinary, but important life, Sutter's life has been anything but ordinary. 

Sutter participated in the 2003 reality TV show called the "The Bachelorette" as a contestant.  At the end of the show, the featured consort, Trista Rehn, chose Sutter as her husband. They were married in a televised wedding in 2003, later had children together, and are still married.  Current information about Ryan Sutter ( Triathlons, TV personality, etc.) can be found on his blog.

Many Panther fans felt really bad for Sutter at the time of the injury. Maybe now, not so much. If you know of any shorter NFL careers, please let us know.

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