First-year Lions coach Dan Campbell, a former teammate of Muhlbach, called himself "an a--hole" for making the decision on that particular date. But the Lions organization announced Friday that it is bringing him back as a special assistant.
Muhlbach's role could consist of some coaching and scouting duties, while reporting to Campbell, GM Brad Holmes and president and CEO Rod Wood for numerous projects.
"It has been an honor and a privilege to wear the Honolulu Blue and Silver for the past 17 years," Muhlbach said in a statement. "I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to remain with this organization that has given me so much. I'm excited about this new chapter of my career and to have the ability to continue working towards the goal of bringing a winning culture to Detroit."
Muhlbach now officially retires as the second-longest tenured player in franchise history with 260 career games under his belt, behind only longtime kicker Jason Hanson.
As the Lions prepare for their Week 1 matchup vs. San Francisco at home on Sunday, Muhlbach is expected to report to the facility today to start work.
"Anytime things like that happen and you know it's on a guy's birthday, you know you're not gonna look good, but no, I don't look into any of that," Campbell said. "I'm sure I've been the donkey for many different days before and I don't know if any of that's gonna change, but anyway we're excited to get him back because we can use him, he can help us."