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Dwayne Rudd
No. 57     
Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1976-02-03) February 3, 1976 (age 43)
Place of birth: Batesville, Mississippi
High School: Batesville (MS) South Panola
Career information
College: Alabama
NFL Draft: 1997 / Round: 1 / Pick: 20
Debuted in 1997 for the [[{{{debutteam}}}]]
Last played in 2003 for the [[{{{finalteam}}}]]
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Tackles     504
Sacks     11.5
Interceptions     1
Stats at NFL.com

Dwayne Rudd (born February 3, 1976) is a retired American football linebacker who played in the National Football League. During his career he played for the Minnesota Vikings, the Cleveland Browns and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rudd was a teammate of Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend in both high school and college, at South Panola High School and the University of Alabama, respectively. Derek Pegues, a South Panola alum and an All-SEC Defensive Back for Mississippi State, is his cousin.

Premature celebration controversyEdit

Rudd's most infamous moment came in the 2002 season opener (on Sept. 8) between the Browns and the Kansas City Chiefs. With less than 10 seconds left on the clock and the Browns clinging to a 39–37 lead, Chiefs quarterback Trent Green dropped back to pass, but the entire Browns defensive line swarmed him. It initially appeared that Rudd sacked Green with no time on the clock, ending the game. However, Green lateraled the ball to tackle John Tait just before he went down. Rudd did not see this happen, and after getting up he took off his helmet and threw it in the air in celebration, thinking Green was sacked, the play was dead, and the game was over.

Tait ran to the Browns' 26-yard line where he was knocked out of bounds. That would have been the end of the game, but Rudd's premature helmet toss drew the Browns an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which was assessed at the end of the play and which moved the ball to the 13-yard line (half the distance to the goal). Since football games by rule cannot end on a defensive penalty, the Chiefs also got to run an untimed play, and Chiefs kicker Morten Andersen booted a 30-yard field goal with no time left on the clock to win the game 40–39.[1]

Rudd encountered a similar incident the next season in Tampa; as part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he saw his teammate Simeon Rice draw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in a game against the Indianapolis Colts after a game-winning field goal attempt failed, giving the Colts another chance to win the game - being successful the second time. Unlike the Chiefs-Browns game the year before, this game was nationally televised on Monday Night Football [2]

Accomplishments Edit

Rudd holds the NFL record for most fumble return yards in a single season with 157, which he set in 1998. He also shares the NFL record (with many players) both for the most total fumble recoveries for touchdowns in a season and the most opponent fumble recoveries for touchdowns in a season, with two apiece.[3]

References Edit

External linksEdit

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