Former Tennessee Titans tight end Frank Wycheck, who threw the lateral in the famed "Music City Miracle" in the 1999 playoffs, has died, his family announced Sunday. He was 52.
"At this time, it appears Wycheck fell inside his Chattanooga, Tennessee, home and hit his head Saturday morning," the statement read, via the Titans' official website. "He was found unresponsive that afternoon."
Wycheck played 11 seasons in the NFL from 1993 to 2003. A former sixth-round pick out of the University of Maryland, he signed with the Houston Oilers after spending his first two seasons in Washington. Wycheck remained with the franchise during its move to Tennessee in 1997 and throughout the remainder of his career.
It was in Nashville he'd become one of the most famous Titans in the team's history thanks to his blue-collar attitude as a blocker and his underrated talent as a pass-catcher. But it was his lateral during a kickoff in the 1999 playoffs that made Wycheck a household name.
Wycheck threw the lateral on a kickoff return that became known as the "Music City Miracle." His cross-field toss to Titans wideout Kevin Dyson turned into a 75-yard game-winning touchdown as the final seconds ticked away in an AFC Wild Card Game against the Buffalo Bills.
The play remains one of the most incredible moments in the history of the NFL, all thanks to Wycheck's heady lateral.
At the time of his retirement in 2003, Wycheck's 505 career receptions ranked fourth all-time among tight ends behind Shannon Sharpe (815), Ozzie Newsome (662) and Kellen Winslow (541). He made three consecutive Pro Bowls from 1998 to 2000, and was inducted into the Titans' ring of honor in 2013.