The Chicago Bears will honor late running back Gale Sayers during Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers (4:25 p.m. ET on FOX) with a stencil on the field that features his last name and No. 40 jersey number.
Sayers, who spent his entire career with the Bears (1965-71), passed away on Sept. 23 at the age of 77.
The fourth overall pick in the 1965 NFL Draft, Sayers – nicknamed the “Kansas Comet” – racked up 2,272 all-purpose yards and set an NFL record with 22 touchdowns, including six in one game, on his way to being named the rookie of the year. He led the league in rushing during his second season with 1,231 yards, set a league record with 2,440 all-purpose yards and scored 12 total touchdowns (eight rushing, two receiving and two kick returns).
Sayers rushed for a team record 205 yards in a win over Green Bay on Nov. 3, 1968, but suffered a torn ACL and MCL in a game against the San Francisco 49ers the following week. He rebounded from the injury to lead the NFL in rushing the following year with 1,032 yards.
Separate knee and ankle injuries limited Sayers to just four games across the 1970-71 seasons. He retired after the first preseason game of the 1972 season, as he fumbled twice on just three carries.
Sayers, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977, ultimately set 23 team and seven league records. He was was a five-time first-team All-Pro Selection, was voted to four Pro Bowls and had his No. 40 retired by the Bears in 1994.
Photos courtesy of @ChicagoBears on Twitter.