LAKE FOREST – For some, it might be a bit overdue, considering that he passed away earlier in the 2020 season.
But on Sunday, the Bears will pay tribute on the field to one of the greatest players in the history of the 101-year old franchise.
Gale Sayers will be honored by the team with a logo on the field that features his name along with his retired No. 40 jersey that he wore with the team. It will make it’s debut in the team’s final game of the 2020 season against the Packers on Sunday, a game in which the Bears would make the postseason with a victory.
So far this is the first on-field tribute to Sayers this season, with the team not wearing any decals or patches for Sayers, who died at the age of 77 on September 23rd.
Drafted by the team in 1965, the “Kansas Comet” was one of the most electrifying players in the history of the NFL. He scored six touchdowns in his first year against the 49ers at Wrigley Field and was named the league’s Rookie of the Year, going onto make five All-Pro first teams along with four Pro Bowls.
He led the NFL in rushing twice, including 1969, a year after a devastating ACL and MCL tear in his knee. That would eventually force him to retire before the 1972 season, but his efforts earned him a quick induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.
At 34 years old, he was the youngest to every have that honor bestowed upon him, and was part of the reason the Bears retired his No. 40 in 1994.