Whereas some gamers flip excellent seasons into prolonged and spectacular careers, others merely fade into obscurity. Listed below are probably the most notable one-hit wonders for every NFC North group.
Minnesota Vikings: Sidney Rice
A second-round choose within the 2007 NFL Draft, Rice had two mediocre seasons with the Vikings earlier than bursting onto the scene in 2009. With Brett Favre rifling passes, Rice had a profession yr, making his first and solely Professional Bowl after snatching 83 of 121 targets for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns. The 23-year-old appeared destined for extra progress, setting a file on the time with three landing receptions within the divisional playoff. Nevertheless, a hip damage within the NFC Championship Sport derailed Rice’s season and profession with the Vikings.
After present process offseason surgical procedure, Rice would play solely six video games in 2010, catching 17 passes for 280 yards earlier than receiving his launch from Minnesota. Rice would catch on with the Seattle Seahawks for the subsequent three seasons however averaged solely 32 receptions per yr earlier than retiring after the 2013 marketing campaign at 27. Rice estimates he suffered between 15-20 concussions over his soccer life and determined to name it quits as a precaution. Whereas Rice by no means grew to become a perennial Professional Bowler, he may have a long-lasting affect on the way forward for the sport, having agreed to donate his brain to medical analysis following his passing.
Detroit Lions: Joseph Fauria
Fauria got here out of nowhere as an undrafted free agent in 2013, instantly changing into certainly one of quarterback Matthew Stafford’s favourite end-zone targets. Whereas Fauria managed to file solely 18 receptions his rookie yr, almost half resulted in scores. Fauria completed second behind Corridor of Famer Calvin Johnson (12) for the group lead in touchdowns with seven, together with a three-score efficiency throughout his first profession begin in Week 6. On the time, it appeared the Lions had discovered a diamond within the tough, however Fauria’s unbelievable rise was over as shortly because it began.
Three weeks into his sophomore season, Fauria suffered a extreme ankle damage, altering the trajectory of his NFL profession. Fauria initially claimed the damage occurred whereas chasing down his mischievous pet however later admitted to being careless throughout an indoor volleyball sport. After lacking six weeks, Fauria returned to the lineup for 4 extra video games in 2014 however was nonetheless bothered by the damage, catching solely 4 passes for 25 yards and a landing. The Lions launched Fauria earlier than the 2015 season, and he by no means performed one other snap within the NFL.
Inexperienced Bay Packers: Don Majkowski
Earlier than Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers solidified their legacies in Inexperienced Bay, 1987 Tenth-round choose Don Majkowski appeared primed to affix Bart Starr among the many Packers greats at quarterback. In 1989, Majkowski led the NFL in completions (353) and passing yards (4,318), incomes the nickname “Majik Man” after ending with a league-best seven game-winning drives. Moreover, Majkowski lifted the Packers to a 10-6 file, making his first Professional Bowl whereas ending second to Corridor of Famer Joe Montana within the league MVP voting. Whereas the Packers devoted thought they’d lastly discovered the quarterback to guide them again to prominence, accidents prevented Majkowski from capitalizing on his exceptional 1989 season.
Following two injury-plagued seasons in 1990 and 1991, Majkowski suffered a torn ligament in his ankle early through the 1992 marketing campaign, giving option to an unproven Favre, who quickly skyrocketed to stardom. Majkowski moved on from Inexperienced Bay in 1993, beginning eight video games over the subsequent 4 seasons for the Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions, however by no means regained the shape from his breakout yr. Now 59, Majkowski’s decade-long NFL profession has taken its toll on his physique, resulting in numerous surgical procedures, together with 23 on his ankle alone. Nevertheless, inducted into the Packers Corridor of Fame in 2005, Majkowski would not remorse paying the value for what he known as a “pretty special” run within the NFL.
Chicago Bears: Rashaan Salaam
Contemporary off profitable the Heisman Trophy at Colorado, Salaam went twenty first general to the Bears within the 1995 NFL Draft. Dealing with excessive expectations, the 21-year-old impressed instantly, taking the beginning position within the Bears’ backfield by Week 4. Salaam would file 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns, additional thrilling Bears followers by closing the season with three straight 100-yard outings. Whereas all indicators pointed to an extended and storied profession for Salaam in Chicago, he would by no means equal the output of his rookie marketing campaign once more.
Following his exceptional first season within the NFL, Salaam suffered numerous accidents that slowed his improvement. Salaam performed 12 video games throughout his sophomore marketing campaign, however knee and hamstring accidents restricted him to solely 496 yards and three touchdowns. Then, three video games into the 1997 season, Salaam broke his proper leg, which signaled the tip of his profession with the Bears. Salaam tried to catch on with the Cleveland Browns in 1999 however carried the ball solely as soon as for 2 yards earlier than hanging up his cleats for good. Sadly, Salaam, who reportedly confirmed signs of traumatic mind damage, took his personal life in 2016 at age 42.