Former 49ers running back Glen Coffee's abrupt departure from the NFL on Friday after one season in the league got me thinking.
Apparently, "his heart wasn't in the sport," which, I guess is a PR-friendly way of saying "I have my whole life ahead of me, and I'd rather be coherent (and walking without a noticeable limp) for most of it."
It's widely known that running backs typically have the shortest tenures of any position in the league due to the steady pounding they take nearly every down.
Barry Sanders, the poster child for leaving the game before many believed his time was up, left the game healthy. A bonus for any running back.
But for some other backs (like say, Willie Parker this season), health became an issue far too soon. It seemed like for these backs, their 15 minutes in the limelight of an NFL backfield came and went faster than Paris Hilton's singing career.
So, I've compiled a list of 10 backs who left the gridiron too soon—be it because of injury or personal reasons-and left most fans to beg the question "whatever happened to that guy?"