The story starts a few minutes before Neil Rackers kicked his game-winning 35-yard field goal in overtime at Washington on Sunday. Just as tight end Joel Dreessen made a 28-yard catch to put the Texans in field goal range, the shoe on Rackers’ right foot inexplicably fell apart.
“I was warming up into the net (on the sideline) and my shoe started to pull away; the plastic bottom started to pull away from the leather,” Rackers said. “Then, I hit one ball and my toe was almost shooting out the side of the shoe. Just then, Joe (Marciano) came over and said, ‘We’re kicking on third down,’ and I said, ‘Well, I need a shoe first.’”
Enter Snell. Thankfully, Dreessen’s catch was reviewed by officials, buying a few minutes of time. Rackers showed Snell his crumbled shoe, and Snell immediately took off in a frenzied sprint from the sideline to the Texans’ locker room.
Inside the locker room, Snell rummaged through Rackers’ travel bag and found a new pair of shoes. He then darted back out to the field and, as the story goes, presented Rackers with the new set before officials had even finished reviewing Dreessen’s catch.
“He should be a track star somewhere, the way he got that shoe,” Rackers said.
From there, Rackers had enough time to take a couple of warm-up kicks on the sideline before sending the game-winner through the uprights to move the Texans to 2-0.
Looking back at it all on Wednesday, Rackers gave his best guess at Snell’s time in the 40-yard dash.
“I’m going to say on a good day, about 5.3,” he said. “But on that day, he was flying. There was a little bit of adrenaline in there.”
Texans coach Gary Kubiak said that he was prepared to have Rackers attempt the kick barefooted if not for Snell’s dash to the locker room.
“I heard them talking about it, and I knew somebody was on their way with a shoe,” Kubiak said. “If not, he was going to have to go out there and kick it without one. It wasn’t like we were going to stop.”
Tags: Chris Snell, Neil Rackers
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