Lauren Silberman became the first woman to try out for the NFL at a regional combine Sunday, but the 28-year-old former soccer player only managed two subpar kicks before succumbing to a quadricep injury.
Silberman was one of 37 kickers to take part in the NFL’s scouting combine at the New York Jets practice facility in Florham Park, N.J. this past weekend. She attempted two kickoffs, the first going 19 yards and the second 13 yards, before leaving the field and asking to see a trainer.
The female kicker told reporters that she had injured her quadriceps during a practice earlier in the week and aggravated the injury during her tryout. ”I tried staying off it and waited for today,” she told the Associated Press. ”I didn’t even take kicks in warm-ups, and, it’s pretty hard to know that you’ll be in pain, and I wanted to work through it and I certainly tried to, but I just couldn’t do it today.”
Although many have praised Silberman for her historic attempt, others have speculated that the tryout was a publicity stunt. The former college club-level soccer player allegedly asked multiple male kickers at the tryout questions about how to properly approach the ball for kickoffs, according to USA Today Sports. Fellow female kicker Katie Hnida, the first woman to score a point in a Division 1 football game, described Silberman’s kicks as “terrible” and expressed hope that Sunday’s events wouldn’t damage the chances of other women who attempt to try out for the league in the future.