“The Suicide King” episode opens where the previous episode left off, with brothers Merle (Michael Rooker) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) pitted against one another in the Governor’s (David Morrissey) arena. Just when viewers think Merle will do the Governor’s bidding, the Dixon brothers pull a fast one and team up and escape.
The Dixon brothers weren’t the only exciting thing to happen. Former Pittsburg Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward portrayed a walker in this episode.
Ward played for the University of Georgia with Walking Dead actor IronE Singleton, who portrayed T-Dog. His connection with Singleton and filming in his home state of Georgia aided him in landing the role.
The Today show reported that Ward sat in the makeup chair for two hours to be transformed into a member of the undead and unseen by viewers; his uniform number, 86, was painted o the back of his head.
The Walking Dead – Hines Ward
The Walking Dead isn’t Ward’s first foray onto the screen. He portrayed himself in The Dark Knight Rises in 2012 as a member of the fictional Gotham Rogues football team. And in 2011, he and his dance partner Kym Johnson won season 12 of Dancing with the Stars. He was also a member of Team Rachael in season 2 of the Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-off that aired on the Food Network.
In the NFL, Ward is a two-time champion and won Super Bowl XL MVP honors in addition to three All-Pro selections. He is a four-time Pro Bowler who is also a member of the Pittsburg Steelers All-Time team and Hall of Honor. In 2022 he became the head coach of the San Antonio Brahmas of the XFL.