ESPN.com AFC East reporter Tim Graham writes a touching, powerful piece on former Patriots fullback Kevin Turner, who played for the team from 1992-1994.
"Ten months ago, the 41-year-old father of three was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the incurable neuromuscular disorder commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease," Graham writes. "Turner's arms don't work well, his hands even less. His pinch strength, a measurement of the strength generated by the thumb and forefinger, is one pound. That's comparable to an infant. He doesn't have enough might to squeeze toothpaste out of a tube."
Graham includes comments from Bill Parcells, who coached Turner with the Patriots in 1993 and 1994.
"There's nobody out there who wouldn't like [Turner] as a person, player, practice habits, versatility," Parcells said. "This kid had everything. He was a special kid.
"He was a first-down player and was capable of playing on third down because he had such great hands. He really was an all-purpose back. And you don't see those fullbacks anymore. Kevin was a traditional, old-time, versatile, run-block-and-catch fullback."
When it comes to on-field memories of Turner, his touchdown catch in a 26-20 overtime win over the Vikings on Nov. 13, 1994 is one of the tops on the list. The catch came on Drew Bledsoe's 70th pass attempt of the game.
Turner, a third-round draft choice in 1992 out of Alabama, also officially ushered in Robert Kraft's ownership tenure. His 1-yard touchdown run on Sept. 4, 1994 against the Dolphins was the first scored by the team in Kraft's tenure. A signed football from Turner commemorates that feat in the team's Hall of Fame.