Rice, Jerry (1962—)

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Rice, Jerry (1962—)

Maybe the greatest wide-receiver in NFL (National Football League) history, Jerry Rice has been a part of the San Francisco 49ers' success for his entire career, which began in 1986. Coming from small Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Mississippi, Rice holds numerous NFL regular season and postseason records, including most receptions in a career, most receiving yards in a career, and most touchdowns in a career, to name just three. He was on track for another record, most consecutive games with a reception, before a freak injury in the 1997 season opener stopped that streak. Despite that torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, Rice miraculously returned just three and a half months later in a Monday night game against Denver. Unfortunately, he suffered a shattered kneecap (the same knee), preventing the 49ers' most potent weapon from participating in the postseason. After that injury, Rice returned to his old self in the 1998 season, racking up over 1,000 yards receiving while leading the 49ers in receptions.

—D. Byron Painter

Further Reading:

Bloom, Barry M. "I'm Not Invincible Anymore." Sport. September 1998, 76-80.