'Our city lost a true friend': Former Eagles running back Rev. Herbert Lusk dies at 69

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 26: Former Philadelphia Eagles player Herb Lusk speaks during the Festival of Families on September 26, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pope Francis wraps up his trip to the United States with two days in Philadelphia

Former Philadelphia Eagles running back Herbert Lusk II died at the age of 69 on Monday, according to the city council's president.

"North Philadelphia and our city lost a true friend yesterday; Rev. Herb Lusk has passed," said Darrell Clarke.

Lusk joined the Philadelphia Eagles under rookie coach Dick Vermeil in 1976 as a 10th-round draft pick from Long Beach State.

"The Praying Tailback" says he was the first NFL player to kneel in prayer in the endzone after scoring a touchdown. 

"I was the first one (to do it)," Lusk told Ray Didinger back in 2018. "It was my way of saying thanks. I hurt my knee in junior college and the doctors said I'd never play football again, but I put my fate in God's hands. I prayed every day and I knew if my knee healed, it was His will for me to continue playing."


Lusk went on to play three seasons with the Eagles, until he retired and eventually became the pastor of Greater Exodus Baptist Church in North Philadelphia, and created the non-profit People for People.

"Rev. Lusk cared deeply about Philadelphia and its people. He truly walked the walk of service in this life… Rest in Power, Reverend," Clarke said.