After the Detroit Lions’ special teams disaster on Sunday, you wouldn’t think the team would win a Special Teams award in Week 1, but that’s exactly what has happened. The NFL announced on Wednesday that kicker Matt Prater has been named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 1.
Prater was definitely the lone bright spot for the Lions’ special teams unit. To end the first half, Prater nailed a 58-yard field goal to bring Detroit within one point as the teams headed to the locker room.
But perhaps the feat that pushed him over the edge to win the award was his ability to replace Kasey Redfern as the team’s punter and kickoff specialist when Redfern suffered a serious injury.
Prater was not exactly dominant as a punter on Sunday, averaging just 34.8 yards on four punts. However, this was the first time Prater had ever punted the ball in an NFL game. The last time he ever punted in game was over 10 years ago, as a senior at Central Florida, according to The Detroit News.
The Lions won’t be going with Prater as the team’s punter going forward, as they signed veteran Jeff Locke on Tuesday.
This is Prater’s ninth time winning the weekly honors, according to the Lions.