Former Saint Tom Dempsey, who had one of the most famous kicks in NFL history, has coronavirus

Former New Orleans Saints kicker Tom Dempsey, who authored one of the most famous moments in NFL history, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Dempsey’s daughter, Ashley, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Ramon Antonio Vargas that her 73-year-old father tested positive. He caught it during an outbreak in the Lambeth House senior living center in New Orleans, Vargas reported.

Dempsey’s symptoms are “relatively mild,” his daughter said. Dempsey is also battling Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Tom Dempsey made an iconic kick

For decades, Dempsey held the NFL record with a 63-yard field goal.

In 1970, he hit the field goal for the Saints to beat the Detroit Lions on the final play of the game. In the 50 years since that kick, five others have also hit a 63-yard field goal, starting with Denver’s Jason Elam in 1998. In 2013, Broncos kicker Matt Prater hit a 64-yarder to beat Dempsey’s record.

Dempsey and Graham Gano of the Carolina Panthers are the only kickers to make a fourth-quarter, game-winning kick of 63 yards or more in NFL history.

Dempsey, an All-Pro as a rookie in 1969, kicked for 11 NFL seasons with five teams: the Saints, Eagles, Bills, Rams and Oilers. He was a long shot to make the NFL considering he was born without toes on his right kicking foot. He wore a special shoe to kick in the NFL.

New Orleans Saints' Tom Dempsey hit a game-winning 63-yard field goal on November 8, 1970. (AP Photo/files)

Outbreak at senior center

The Times-Picayune reported that the senior center where Dempsey lives had 50 cases of the coronavirus, and at least 13 residents have died as a result.

The story said Dempsey has video-chatted with his family since the senior center has blocked non-essential visitors. Ashley Dempsey said her father is in good spirits.

"He's a fighter," Ashley Dempsey told the Times-Picayune. "He's been fighting his whole life."  

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