8. Ronnie Lott, San Francisco 49ers
The longtime Niners safety proved his toughness countless times on the field with some viciously hard hits, but his defining moment of grit came in a moment off of it. Lott had badly injured his pinky finger in the 1985 season after it was crushed by another player, but if he had surgery, Lott likely would have missed the start of the 1986 season. So what did he do? He had his finger amputated, ensuring that he would be ready to play the next year. If that’s not toughness, what is? Lott was ranked in the top 5 of the NFL.com list of the most feared tacklers in football and he laid out some ferocious hits in his time, including a brutal one on Mark Bavaro—smashing him high with his shoulder as he tried to catch the ball over the middle—and this massive takedown in the Super Bowl against the Bengals.
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