Muhlbach with the Detroit Lions in 2011
|Date of birth:August 17, 1981|
|Place of birth: Newark, Ohio|
|College: Texas A&M|
|Undrafted in 2004|
|No regular season or postseason appearances|
|* Baltimore Ravens ( 2004)*|
|Roster status: Active|
|Career highlights and awards|
|* 2× Pro Bowl (2012, 2018)|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Donald Lynn Muhlbach Jr. (born August 17, 1981) is an American football long snapper for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). Muhlbach played college football for Texas A&M University. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2004 by the Baltimore Ravens and later signed with the Lions that same year, where he has played since.
High school career
Muhlbach attended Lufkin High School in Lufkin, Texas. As a senior football player, he was the Lufkin special team's most valuable player, and earned Academic All-District honors.
Muhlbach signed as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens on April 30, 2004. He spent the summer and OTAs with the Ravens before being released during training camp on August 30, 2004. On November 10, 2004, the Detroit Lions signed him as a replacement for injured long snapper Jody Littleton.
Early in his Lions career, Muhlbach overcame the adversity brought on by a botched snap against the Minnesota Vikings in a December 20, 2004 game. Holder Nick Harris was unable to cleanly field a bounced snap on a PAT attempt with 8 seconds remaining in the game. The missed PAT and unsuccessful onside kick resulted in the Lions falling in regulation to the Vikings 28-27. Had the PAT been successful, the game likely would have gone to overtime, giving the Lions an opportunity for a win. The Lions faith in Muhlbach has paid off, as through the 2012 NFL season, he has yet to bounce or botch another snap.
Upon signing with the Lions, Muhlbach was described as "the Nolan Ryan of long snappers" by then-general manager Matt Millen. Millen was referring to the speed at which the ball is snapped to the holder or punter, with Muhlbach having the quickest snaps of those the team timed.
Muhlbach has played in every Lions game since 2005, except for week 15 of the 2009 season due to a concussion. The Lions signed Nathan Hodel as an injury replacement, and Muhlbach returned for week 16.
On January 15, 2013, Muhlbach was added to the NFC 2013 Pro Bowl roster by NFC head coach and Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. This was his first Pro Bowl, and the first Lions special teams player to make a Pro Bowl that was not a kicker, punter, or kick returner.
On February 27, 2015, the Lions re-signed Muhlbach to a one-year contract.
On March 11, 2016, the Lions re-signed Muhlbach to a one-year contract.
On March 3, 2017, the Lions re-signed Muhlbach to a one-year contract for the third straight year.
On March 10, 2018, Muhlbach re-signed with the Lions.
On January 16, 2019, Muhlbach was named to his second Pro Bowl.
On February 13, 2019, Muhlbach signed a one-year contract extension with the Lions.
Muhlbach is married to Alix Koetting. On August 24, 2012, they gave birth to their first daughter Addison. His uncle, John Muhlbach, was a center for Ohio State University.
- VanOchten, Brian (December 7, 2008). "Lions long snapper Muhlbach likes anonymity". Grand Rapids Press. http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/2008/12/lions_long_snapper_muhlbach_li.html. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- "#69 Muhlbach, Don". AggieAthletics.com. Texas A&M University. Archived from the original on November 11, 2004. https://web.archive.org/web/20041111184149/http://aggieathletics.com/bios.php?SID=MFB&PID=50&YOS=2003. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- Mike O'Hara [@MikeOHaraNFL] (January 15, 2013). "When Matt Millen signed Don Muhlbach as Lions' long-snapper he called him "the Nolan Ryan of long-snappers." Now call him NFC Pro Bowler". https://twitter.com/MikeOHaraNFL/status/291312572337119232.
- Twentyman, Tim (February 27, 2015). "Lions sign Don Muhlbach to one-year deal". Detroit Lions. http://www.detroitlions.com/news/lions-insider/article-1/Lions-sign-Don-Muhlbach-to-one-year-deal/414e33cd-84e4-4346-ba92-fef2850a1570. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
- "Lions re-sign LS Don Muhlbach". Detroit Lions. March 11, 2016. http://www.detroitlions.com/news/news-short/article-1/Lions-re-sign-LS-Don-Muhlbach/1b08e998-d48d-4f70-b68b-4809803766e7. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Reisman, Jeremy (March 3, 2017). "Report: Detroit Lions re-sign long snapper Don Muhlbach". http://www.prideofdetroit.com/2017/3/3/14800248/detroit-lions-re-sign-long-snapper-don-muhlbach.
- "Lions re-sign LS Don Muhlbach". March 10, 2018. http://www.detroitlions.com/news/news-short/article-1/Lions-re-sign-LS-Don-Muhlbach/59ad5a67-e673-4ff4-99fa-441363282b07.
- "Lions LS Don Muhlbach added to 2019 Pro Bowl roster" (in en-US). https://www.mlive.com/lions/2019/01/lions-ls-don-muhlbach-added-to-2019-pro-bowl-roster.html.
- Smith, Michael David (February 13, 2019). "Lions re-sign long snapper Don Muhlbach". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports. https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/02/13/lions-re-sign-long-snapper-don-muhlbach-2/.