Lester Andrew Josephson (July 29, 1942 – January 1, 2020) was a professional American football running back in the National Football League for the Los Angeles Rams. He played college football at Augustana College.

Les Josephson
No. 34
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:(1942-07-29)July 29, 1942
Minneota, Minnesota
Died:January 1, 2020(2020-01-01) (aged 77)
Tucson, Arizona
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:207 lb (94 kg)
Career information
High school:Minneota (MN)
College:Augustana (SD)
Undrafted:1964
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:129
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early yearsEdit

Josephson's football career had its start in his high school days in Minneota, Minnesota, where he played 8-man football. He did not play 11-man ball until he began college at Augustana in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

His early college years were outstanding, playing on a college team that showed unusual success and talent. The team during his final two years, however, had only mediocre success, and his hope to be claimed in the pro football draft faded.

Professional careerEdit

Dallas CowboysEdit

Josephson was signed by the Dallas Cowboys in 1964 as an undrafted free agent, because they were impressed with his athletic ability. The Cowboys needed an offensive tackle because of injuries and although they didn't want to lose Josephson, he was traded during training camp to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for Jim Boeke.

Los Angeles RamsEdit

He joined the backfield of Roman Gabriel as a rookie fullback/running back, and became a team leader for the next decade.

Josephson was selected for the Pro Bowl in 1967, after having his best professional season with 800 rushing yards. In the Pro Bowl, he scored a first-quarter touchdown in the 38–20 West victory.[1] The next year, he suffered a left calf injury in pre-season, while running through the stadium tunnel to the field.[2] After the cast for the injury was removed, he tore the Achilles tendon of the same leg while rehabilitating jumping rope and was placed on the injured reserve list.[3]

Injuries slowed him down (broken jaw, ruptured Achilles tendon) but he contributed to the team for many years after his worst injuries. He retired in 1975 after he was waived during the preseason.[4] At the time. his 3,407 rushing yards were the third highest rushing total in franchise history.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

After his career, he acted in a number of films and also served as a football film consultant.

Films and televisionEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Defensive Plays Turns Tide For West In Pro Bowl Win". The Pittsburgh Press. January 22, 1968. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  2. ^ "Backs Renew College Rivalry". The Blade. Toledo, Ohio. December 26, 1968. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  3. ^ "Josephson Out For Year". Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, Florida. October 1, 1968. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  4. ^ "Rams Waive Josephson". Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, Florida. Associated Press. August 5, 1975. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  5. ^ "Les Josephson Waived By Rams". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Sarasota, Florida. August 5, 1975. Retrieved February 19, 2017.