Frank Wycheck, Titans tight end, ‘Music City Miracle’ hero, dead at 52

Frank Wycheck

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Frank Wycheck, an NFL tight end for 11 seasons who played a key role in the Tennessee Titans’ “Music City Miracle” playoff victory 23 years ago, died Saturday. He was 52.

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Wycheck’s family released a statement Sunday, stating that the former player died after falling and hitting his head Saturday morning at his home in Chattanooga, Tennessee, The Tennessean reported. He was found unresponsive Saturday afternoon, according to the newspaper.

Wycheck is a member of the Titans’ Ring of Honor, ESPN reported. During his career, the three-time Pro Bowl selection caught 482 passes for 4,958 yards and 27 touchdowns for the Oilers/Titans franchise, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com. His 482 receptions rank third in franchise history, ESPN reported.

Wycheck’s biggest moment came during a kickoff return in a Jan. 8, 2000, wild-card playoff game that would be known as the “Music City Miracle.” Buffalo had just taken a 16-15 lead on a field goal with 16 seconds to play and kicked off to the Titans.

Lorenzo Neal fielded the short kick and handed off to Wycheck, who threw a lateral across the field. Kevin Dyson caught the ball and sprinted the length of the field for the game-winning touchdown, The Tennessean reported.

The Bills argued that Wycheck threw a forward pass, but the call stood and the Titans advanced with one of the NFL’s most stunning finishes.

Wycheck helped lead the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV during the 1999 season. He had five catches for 35 yards in the games against the St. Louis Rams, who won the game 23-16.

In 2000, Wycheck had a career-high 70 catches for 636 yards and four touchdowns, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.

Born Oct. 14, 1971, in Philadelphia, Wycheck attended the University of Maryland and was drafted in the sixth round by Washington in 1993, ESPN reported.

After two seasons, he was claimed on waivers by the Houston Oilers. He stayed with the franchise when it moved to Nashville in 1997.

During his career, Wycheck caught 505 passes for 5,126 yards and 28 touchdowns, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.

Wycheck is survived by two adult daughters and three grandchildren, WZTV reported.

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