Sports history in Black: O.J. Simpson rushes for more than 2K yards in a season

By Mike Patton

NABJ Black News & Views

Two-thousand yards — that is a marker that many running backs aspire to reach. The NFL running back who most recently reached that milestone is Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans.

Henry ran for 2,027 yards back in the 2020 campaign. But before Henry, Barry Sanders and others, there was the original member of the
2,000-yard rushing club.

Former NFL player O.J. Simpson. Photo credit: file photo
Former NFL player O.J. Simpson. Photo credit: file photo

O.J. Simpson was tough to handle when he was running the football at the University of Southern California, let alone in the NFL. Simpson ran past people and through people on his way to dominating games. He also set the bar for running backs.

On Dec. 16, 1973, Simpson became the first running back in NFL history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. He finished the 1973 season running for 2003
yards, reaching that milestone by running 200 yards in 34 carries in a 34-14 win over the New York Jets.

Since then, only seven other MFL players have reached that plateau.

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