Tony Gonzalez becomes fifth player in NFL history to total 15,000 receiving yards

Shutdown Corner

ATLANTA - As has been the case for most of his career, Tony Gonzalez remains the prettiest part of an ugly team. And on Sunday, he reached yet another milestone affirming his status as one of football's all-time greats.

With a 12-yard pass from Matt Ryan halfway through the third quarter, Gonzalez passed 15,000 receiving yards for his career. Only four other NFL players, all wide receivers — Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, and Isaac Bruce — have hit that mark. When the news of Gonzalez' feat was announced to the Georgia Dome crowd, fans got to their feet and gave No. 88 the largest cheer of the game. Granted, in the turnover-filled atrocity that was this Redskins game, it was a low bar to clear, but still.

The active players closest to the 15K mark coming into Sunday are Reggie Wayne at 13,566 yards, and Andre Johnson at 12,531.

You can debate the best quarterback, running back, linebacker and head coach 'till the end of days. But you can't debate the best tight end. It's Tony Gonzalez, and he's (probably) only got two more games left in his career. We'll have more on Gonzalez in the weeks ahead, but for now, he's giving you reasons, perhaps the only reasons, to watch late-season Falcons games.

Jay Busbee is a contributor for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter.

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