Players forced to play out of position

What are instances of team-sport players having to play out of their normal position, due to injury, rules, or whatever?

In baseball, position players being forced to pitch is relatively common; for example, in 2012 the Orioles’ Chris Davis, normally a 1st baseman, was put in to pitch 2 innings because all the other active pitchers had been subbed out already (a game in which he pitched against another position player, Darnell McDonald of the Red Sox).

Also in 2012, Maryland lost all of their scholarship QBs to injury (almost all ACLs, IIRC), and had to start one of their linebackers at QB (result was not good).

There was an OHL game where a forward was forced to play goalie, who gave up 13 goals (but to his credit, he did make 32 saves).

Any other examples of this sort of thing that stand out?

In an MLS game a couple years ago, the LA Galaxy lost both goalkeepers, one to injury, the other to a red card.
Mike Magee had to play goal.

Soccer players do it all the time. Most non-strikers have at least two natural positions. Ruud Gullit became famous as a goalscorer playing as an attacking midfielder, but also played sweeper early (and late) in his career and even played as a striker at AC Milan.

Indian team captain (and striker) Baichung Bhutia once played an entire match in goal, for reasons nobody understood.

The Detroit Tigers had Miguel Cabrera play 3rd last year.

Before substitutes were allowed in soccer (and when only one substitute was allowed), it was common for an outfield player to play in goal after an injury. Bobby Moore saved a penalty in a 1972 League Cup semi-final (although a goal was scored from the rebound).

Sol “Judas” Campbell started his career at Spurs as a makeshift Centre Forward.

Having a problem with the phrase “forced to play out of position”. Do they hold a gun to their head? Its a game, no? I would think that any position would be better than the bench position.

Tom Matte was a wide receiver for the Baltimore Colts when both their quarterbacks went down with injuries in 1965. Matte played the final two games of the season at QB. Matte had been a QB in college but never in the NFL.

Also in 1965, the St. Louis Cardinals had one catcher go down in spring training, and the other injured on opening day. They pressed Mike Shannon, normally an outfielder into service. (Shannon actually ended up as a third baseman.)

If you want a whole class of athletes who play out of position, just look at left-handed catchers.

OK, not the most elegantly phrased question, but I think we all know what the OP meant…

Winston Bogarde might disagree…

If you a problem with it, kindly never watch sports again, and avoid this forum. TY.

Tony Dungy is the only post-merger player in the NFL to both intercept a pass and throw an interception in the same game.

He was a QB in college, entered the NFL undrafted ad a defensive back and mostly played safety and special teams. While with the Steelers he started one game at safety only to move to QB after both Bradshaw and his backup left the game.

There are many. In 1969, Dave Herman of the Jets moved from left offensive guard to offensive tackle in the Super Bowl. The positions were different enough that the Jets ran all their running plays to the right side, which turned out to be a big reason why they won.*

The 1968 Tigers switched Mickey Stanley – an outfielder – to shortstop for the World Series (he played a few games at the end of the regular season) because their regular shortstop was one of the worst hitters in MLB history. Stanley did a more than adequate job.

In hockey, there’s the legendary case of Lester Patrick, who was called on to play goal for them in the 1928 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Patrick not only had never played goalie, but he was 44 years old and was the team’s coach. The Rangers won the game, and the Stanley Cup.

*Ordell Braase, the Colts’s left end, was suffering from a serious back problem (and told no one about it), so didn’t have the mobility to stop the run. The Jets set up their running game early, which allowed them to win.

Magic Johnson’s rookie season in 1980, Kareem sprained his ankle in game 5 and in game 6 Magic “filled in” at C. Some debate whether or not he actually played C but he did jump for the tipoff and played more in the post than he would have otherwise.

Thank you etv78 for your response. Always nice to have a response. But I feel you are over reacting. I love sports, and I love this forum. TY.

It sounds like you don’t understand the concept. If a team doesn’t have any of its usually designated players available to play a specialized position like pitcher, goalie, quarterback, or other, then the team is forced to send someone in with less (or no) experience at that position if they don’t want to forfeit the game. If your manager sends you in, yeah, you’re forced to play an unfamiliar position.

The Portland Trail Blazers were often forced to used “Forward-Centers” such as Michael Thompson as their starting center because their centers, such as Bill Walton and Sam Bowie, had a history of season-ending injuries. It would work okay until they met the Lakers Jabbar in the first round of the playoffs.

Several NFL wide receivers have been forced to play defensive back due to injuries. Packers WR James Lofton had to play as a nickel back for the Packers in a game against the 49ers (I believe it was 1980), because the Packers had lost several defensive backs with injuries. More famously, Patriots WR Troy Brown wound up playing cornerback for an extended period in 2004, due to numerous injuries, and he led the team in interceptions that year.

Walter Payton was the Bears’ emergency quarterback (and emergency kicker and punter). He wound up playing QB for the Bears in a game against the Packers (I think it was in '84), due to injuries. I’ve recently seen a film of the game, and Payton was running a sort of Wildcat-style offense.

As a teenager, I was at a Packer game (against the Jets in 1979). The Packers’ kicker, Chester Marcol, was injured while attempting an extra point early in the game. The Packers pressed a linebacker, John Anderson, into service as their kicker for the rest of the game – he made a field goal, and was 1 for 2 on extra points.

WR Troy Brown of the Patriots played defense for a good chunk of the 2004 season, catching 3 interceptions. He also took a snap as QB in the preseason. WR Julian Edelman played defensive back in 2011.

OK. I get it. Thanks Colibri.

Some times when a hockey team is given a power play* they’ll replace one of their defencemen with an additional forward for additional offensive punch. Occasionally this can go horribly wrong if the forward is called upon to actually try to defend.

  • Temporary numerical advantage when the opposition is penalized for a foul.

One of the funniest examples of this I’ve ever seen was in 1987, when Yankees catcher Rick Cerone pitched an inning when the Yanks were being blown out by the Texas Rangers by something like 17 runs. Cerone kept shaking off the signals from the guy who was catching and laughing his ass off about it. The Rangers, being good sports, sent pitcher Mike Witt in to pinch hit and Cerone struck him out. He pitched well, allowing no hits in the inning (and in another inning he pitched later that same year).