Former Running Back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
James Wilder Speaker Profile
James Wilder was born May 12, 1958 in Sikeston, Missouri and is a former running back in the National Football League for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins, and the Detroit Lions.
Wilder was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second round of the 1981 NFL Draft. After he shared the backfield as a rookie with Jerry Eckwood in 1981, the Buccaneers released Eckwood in favor of Wilder prior to the 1982 season. He played for most of his career with Tampa Bay, and was a Pro Bowl selection in 1984. Wilder almost set an NFL record that season for combined rushing and receiving yards in a season finishing 16 yards short with 2,229. In an attempt to give Wilder one more chance to break the record in the final minute of the final game of the 1984 season against the New York Jets, head coach John McKay ordered his defense to let the Jets score, so that the Bucs could go back on offense. This resulted in one of the strangest plays in NFL history where the Tampa Bay defense simply stood still as the Jets ran the ball into the end zone.
He ranks first in Buccaneer history in rushing yards and receptions and even set an NFL record with 43 carries in a single game in 1984. Also in 1984 he set NFL records for carries (407) and touches (492) in a single season.
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