Lions' Don Muhlbach moves into top 50 of NFL's games played list
By snapping the extra point on the team's game-opening touchdown drive against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Detroit Lions long snapper Don Muhlbach moved into a tie for 50th place on the NFL's all-time games played list at 248.
"I’ve gotta thank you for sharing that stat with me," special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs said earlier the week, when informed about Muhlbach's impending accomplishment. "Busting Mule’s (chops) about his age has quickly become one of my favorite pastimes, so the more ammo I have in that category, the better."
In his 17th season, Muhlbach is second on the franchise list of games played, behind only kicker Jason Hanson. If Muhlbach doesn't miss a contest this season, he could climb as high as 34th on the league's all-time list, depending on how many games the three active players ahead of him — Larry Fitzgerald, Jason Witten and punter Andy Lee — play in 2020.
Hanson, at 327 games, all with Detroit, is sixth all-time.
Initially signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M in 2004, Muhlbach came to Detroit that year as a midseason injury replacement and has held the role ever since. In recent years, he's fended off camp challenges for the job from Jimmy Landes and Steve Wirtel, the latter who is currently on the team's practice squad.
"He’s awesome," Coombs said. "Working with him has been awesome. I would say the two best traits Mule has, aside from an awesome beard and elite athleticism are probably, A, his selflessness and B, his commitment. He’s all in. He’s like an extra coach, really, just with his investment and his time commitment to what we’re trying to do. He plays a position where nobody’s really ever gonna hear his name unless he ever screws something up. Although, I will say, I continue to be taken aback by sort of the legend of Don Muhlbach here in Detroit. He is certainly a local hero, and all that’s well-deserved by him."