NFL

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Star Mike Alstott Had a Successful Career Before Suffering a Season-Ending Injury

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had many talented players in the past. The Buccaneers were one of the top teams in the NFL in the early 2000s. Mike Alstott was a member of the Super Bowl team from the 2002 season. 

Alstott was a standout player on the field and had a lot of success during his time in Tampa Bay. His career came to an end due to a career-ending injury.

Mike Alstott made an immediate impact during his time in Tampa Bay

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Before he entered the league, Alstott was a standout player at Purdue University. He attended Purdue all four years and had a lot of success there. Alstott rushed for 12 touchdowns as a sophomore, 14 as a junior, and 11 as a senior. He became the first player in school history named MVP in three consecutive seasons. The Illinois native finished his career at Purdue as the school’s all-time leading rusher with 3,635 yards. 

After a successful collegiate career, Alstott was ready to start his NFL career. The Buccaneers selected Alstott in the second round of the 1996 NFL draft. Tampa Bay used Alstott more as a running fullback instead of a blocking fullback. He rushed for 377 yards and three touchdowns in his first season and averaged 3.9 yards per carry. Alstott was a second-team All-Pro selection after his rookie season.

Alstott continued to put up impressive numbers at the fullback position. From 1997 to 1999, he was a first-team All-Pro selection. During the 1999 season, he finished with a career-high in rushing yards with 949. He also had seven touchdowns as well. In 2001 he finished with 11 touchdowns, which was a career-high. The next season Alstott was a part of the Buccaneers team that defeated the Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl. 

Mike Alstott’s neck injury derailed his NFL career

Even though Alstott was a fullback, he played like a running back. His ability to break tackles and gain yards is what made him stand out on the field. After winning the Super Bowl during the 2002 season, Alstott continued to be a threat on offense. He also could catch the ball out of the backfield as well. 

Unfortunately, his career came to an end due to a neck injury. Alstott contemplated retirement at the end of the 2006 season but decided to return to the team. He ended up spending the entire 2007 season due to a neck injury that ended his career. Even though his career ended due to injuries, Alstott finished as one of the top players in Buccaneers’ history. 

Mike Alstott continues to be a notable figure in Tampa Bay

Alstott finished his career rushing for 5,088 yards and 58 rushing touchdowns. His 5,088 rushing yards rank second on the all-time list for Tampa Bay. He currently has the most rushing touchdowns in franchise history with 58. Alstott finished his career, making six Pro Bowls and making the All-Pro team four times. He was inducted into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor after an impressive career.

Alstott was a fan favorite during his playing career, and he continues to impact the community. This year, the Tampa Bay Lightning recognized Alstott as its 37th Community Hero of the 2019-20 season, and the Lightning presented a $50,00 grant to Alstott’s foundation, The Mike Alstott Family Foundation. Alstott has lent a helping hand throughout the city of Tampa Bay ever since he started his career there.

According to an article from bucsnation.com, during the coronavirus pandemic, he and his team have put together care packages for first responders, donated playground equipment and distance learning headphones to kids in need and supported the area’s frontline workers. Even though he’s no longer playing, Alstott has found a way to continue to make an impact in people’s lives.