AURORA, IL — The son of an NFL star who played in six Super Bowls, Chad Beebe is no stranger to professional football or its pressures.
Beebe is in his third year as a wide receiver with the Minnesota Vikings, and it seems the Aurora Christian graduate’s career is starting to take shape after he pulled in his first career touchdown catch Nov. 29 to help his team beat the Carolina Panthers.
Beebe’s milestone came at the best possible moment for his fledgling career — he fumbled a punt less than two minutes earlier, giving the Panthers an easy field goal that extended their lead to 27-21.
Beebe, who wears No. 12 for the Vikings, quickly shook off his mistake and redeemed himself with a leaping touchdown catch with just 46 seconds left in the game. Vikings kicker Dan Bailey added the extra point to give his team a 28-27 lead.
Though Beebe had done his job, he had to sweat on the sidelines until Panthers kicker Joey Slye missed a 54-yard field goal with a second left in the game, confirming Beebe’s touchdown as the game-winner.
Speaking to ESPN after the game, Beebe credited the team’s “never-give-up attitude” despite facing long odds to make a comeback after his fumble.
“Our entire team kind of felt that way. We had plenty of time to drive down and score, and that’s exactly what we did,” Beebe said of the drive that ended with his first NFL touchdown.
Beebe had six receptions across six games in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, according to ESPN statistics. He had seven catches Nov. 29 against the Panthers, picking up 63 yards and a touchdown in his most impressive performance to date.
Beebe caught two passes for 10 yards Sunday in a 27-24 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, taking him to 16 catches for 136 yards this season. The Vikings are in second place in the NFC North division with a 6-6 record.
Beebe spent five seasons at Northern Illinois University after graduating in 2013 from Aurora Christian, where his father, Don Beebe, coached the football team. He was undrafted in 2018 before signing for the Vikings’ practice squad. He made his professional debut in November 2018.
Don Beebe played nine seasons as a wide receiver in the NFL, making six Super Bowl appearances. He lost four consecutive Super Bowls as a member of the Buffalo Bills between 1990 and 1993. That’s the only time a team has reached — and lost — four straight Super Bowls.
Don Beebe won Super Bowl XXXI in 1997 as a receiver for the Green Bay Packers. He is now the head coach of the Aurora University football team.