Don Muhlbach

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Don Muhlbach
refer to caption
Muhlbach with the Detroit Lions
No. 48 Detroit Lions
Position: Long snapper
Personal information
Date of birth: (1981-08-17) August 17, 1981 (age 36)
Place of birth: Newark, Ohio
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 265 lb (120 kg)
Career information
High school: Lufkin (TX)
College: Texas A&M
Undrafted: 2004
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2015
Games played: 180
Tackles: 21
Fumbles recovered: 0
Player stats at

Don Muhlbach (born August 17, 1981) is an American football long snapper for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL).[1] Muhlbach played college football for Texas A&M University. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2004 by the Baltimore Ravens and later signed with the Detroit Lions that same year.

High school career[edit]

Muhlbach attended Lufkin High School in Lufkin, Texas. As a senior football player, he was the Lufkin special team's most valuable player, and earned Academic All-District honors.

College career[edit]

Muhlbach attended Texas A&M University, where he served as the team's long snapper for the 2003 season. He also saw action at punter as a sophomore during the 2001 season.

Professional career[edit]

Muhlbach signed as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens on April 30, 2004. He spent the summer and OTAs with the Ravens before being released during training camp on August 30, 2004. On November 10, 2004, the Detroit Lions signed him as a replacement for injured long snapper Jody Littleton.[2][3]

Early in his Lions career, Muhlbach overcame the adversity brought on by a botched snap against the Minnesota Vikings in a December 20, 2004 game. Holder Nick Harris was unable to cleanly field a bounced snap on a PAT attempt with 8 seconds remaining in the game. The missed PAT and unsuccessful onside kick resulted in the Lions falling in regulation to the Vikings 28-27. Had the PAT been successful, the game likely would have gone to overtime, giving the Lions an opportunity for a win.[4] The Lions faith in Muhlbach has paid off, as through the 2012 NFL season, he has yet to bounce or botch another snap.[5]

Upon signing with the Lions, Muhlbach was described as "the Nolan Ryan of long snappers" by then-general manager Matt Millen. Millen was referring to the speed at which the ball is snapped to the holder or punter, with Muhlbach having the quickest snaps of those the team timed.[6]

Muhlbach has played in every Lions game since 2005, except for week 15 of the 2009 season due to a concussion. The Lions signed Nathan Hodel as an injury replacement, and Muhlbach returned for week 16.[7]

On January 15, 2013, Muhlbach was added to the NFC 2013 Pro Bowl roster by NFC head coach and Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.[8] This was his first Pro Bowl, and the first Lions special teams player to make a Pro Bowl that was not a kicker, punter, or kick returner.[9]

On February 27, 2015, the Lions re-signed Muhlbach to a one-year contract.[10]

On March 11, 2016, the Lions re-signed Muhlbach to a one-year contract.[11]

On March 3, 2017, the Lions re-signed Muhlbach to a one-year contract for the third straight year.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Muhlbach is married to Alix Koetting. On Aug. 24, 2012, they gave birth to their first daughter Addison. His uncle, John Muhlbach, was a center for Ohio State University.[1]