In pretty much every NFL game, the players on the field are giving everything they’ve got to try and help their team win.
Because of this, it can be difficult for any one player’s effort to standout and really catch your attention on a game-by-game basis.
At the same time, there are a handful of players who play the game with so much passion, toughness, and ferocity that it’s impossible to ignore their presence on the football field and this inspired play can actually transcend the game.
These athletes are some of the most beloved NFL players because their fearless style of play not only sets the tone for the rest of their team and defines the player himself, but it can also intimidate their opponents.
These players hard hitting, punishing, and intense brand of football is a double-edged sword because while it enables them to be great, it also wears down their bodies much quicker than other players who simply run out of bounds or those who look to wrap up the ball carrier rather than deliver that bone-jarring hit.
Earl Campbell’s career is one of the best examples of a great player whose style of play ended his career prematurely.
The punishing 5’11’’ Texas native exploded onto the NFL scene in 1978 where he put defenders on notice that having to tackle him for a day would leave them sore the next morning.
Unfortunately, Campbell’s tough running style only allowed him to play eight years in the NFL and because of the toll his playing style had taken on his body, the prolific power back, whose skills had begun to decline, was forced to retire at only 30 years old.
These eight NFL players are some of the toughest, most awe-inspiring performers the game has today, but no matter how tough they are, history tells us that their style of play is going to catch up to them sooner rather than later.