Lauren Silberman became the first woman to tryout at an NFL regional combine Sunday.
It's pretty safe to say the 28-year-old kicker won't become the first woman to play in the NFL. Not after her two kicks at the New York Jets' practice facility in Florham Park, N.J., traveled a combined 32 yards.
Silberman said her struggles were due to a right quadriceps injury she suffered earlier in the week while preparing for the tryout.
She winced during her first attempt, which went 19 yards, then grabbed her right leg. She managed a second attempt, which went 13 yards, before asking to see a trainer.
Silberman, a former club soccer player at Wisconsin and former graduate student at MIT, has never kicked a football in a competitive game. But the NFL made her one of the 37 kickers who qualified for the regional combine based on her athletic background.
“Our job is to evaluate talent and not leave any stone unturned,” said Stephen Austin, the NFL's director of regional combines. “We want young, athletic people who have played a sport, typically in college or military or small schools.
“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."
Silberman paid the $275 registration fee and did her best to impress the scouts. She spoke with reporters for about three minutes after the unfortunate, yet historic, tryout.
“I've always been an athlete, and I've always been a gamer,” she said. “When I had the opportunity to be in the NFL, one of the world's most competitive leagues, I absolutely had to take the chance.”
She added: “I'm just really happy I had this amazing experience. I might be the first woman trying out for the NFL, but I certainly hope I'm not the last.”