7. Bo Jackson
Bo Jackson was one of the greatest all around athletes to ever grace the football field. Well, and the baseball field too. When Jackson came out of college he decided that being a professional athlete in one sport just wasn’t taxing enough on his body. So he played in the MLB and NFL for a number of years becoming a national icon in the early 1990s.
On the football field, Jackson began his career with the Los Angeles Raiders because the thought of a baseball player being on the roster intrigued owner Al Davis. So Jackson initially played behind Marcus Allan, one of the all-time great running backs in NFL history before getting a more prominent role in the back field during his third year in 1989.
During the 1989 season, Jackson rushed for 950 yards in just 11 games. As a running back Jackson had it all: speed, strength, and toughness. Unfortunately, due to an unlucky injury during the 1990 NFL playoffs against the Cincinnati Bengals, Jackson was never the same player again. After being tackled awkwardly from behind, Jackson’s hip popped out of place. Wanting to continue playing the game and help his team past the Bengals, he tried to force it back into place. While he was successful in doing so, the injury required pretty extensive surgery effectively ending his career as a running back.
People will always wonder what Jackson could have been if he just focused on football. The injury might not have happened if Jackson wouldn’t have worn down his body playing two professional sports. But these are all just what-if scenarios. So unfortunately, Jackson’s football career will forever be defined by unfilled potential and the injury that made him leave the game for good.
Next: 6. Troy Aikman