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2022 Detroit Lions awards: Special Teams Player of the Year

Vote on your pick for Detroit Lions Special Teams Player of the Year for the 2022 season.

Detroit Lions v New York Jets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions special teams unit enjoyed another successful season in 2022. While they went through some trouble finding a kicker for the first month of the season, things eventually settled and everything else pretty much fell into place.

Just a few weeks ago, the Lions finished sixth in Rick Gosselin’s annual rankings. It’s another notch in special teams coordinator Dave Fipp’s belt... which is getting very notchy at this point.

But who amongst the players deserves the biggest honors for Detroit’s success in the third phase of the game?

We continue our 2022 Detroit Lions award nominations with Special Teams Player of the Year.

Vote for Breakout Player of the Year here

Morgan Cannon

PR Kalif Raymond

That would be second team All-Pro kick returner Kalif Raymond. Beyond being a key member of the wide receiver room, Raymond consistently helped flip the field for the Lions, and his return for a touchdown against the New York Jets was a huge swing that helped propel Detroit to a hard-earned road victory.

Ryan Mathews

PR Kalif Raymond

If it wasn’t for Kalif Raymond, the Detroit Lions wouldn’t have been in the mix for the playoffs heading into Week 18. His 47-yard punt return for a touchdown against the New York Jets in Week 15 got the Lions on the scoreboard, and it placed the proverbial exclamation mark on his remarkable season. Raymond was the only Lions player to be selected to an All Pro team in 2022, earning Second Team honors as a punt returner after he averaged 13.2 yards per return—the second-best mark in the NFL.

Hamza Baccouche

ST Josh Woods

Josh Woods. Woods emerged as one of the unit’s best tacklers and all-around special teamers this year. Despite seeing very little defensive action, he feels like one of the least replaceable players on this Lions roster. Plus, he was one of a handful of special teamers who were always hyping up the crowd after kickoffs, so bonus points for enthusiasm.

Jeremy Reisman

PR Kalif Raymond

It’s 2-for-2 so far in awards for Raymond. Overall, the Lions’ special teams were just fine this year. Don’t get me wrong, the coverage units were fantastic—often challenging some of the best returners in the league to do their worst and holding up strong. However, field goal kicking and punting were merely average.

That leaves Raymond—the NFL’s second-best punt returner by average in 2022—as the easy choice.

John Whiticar

PR Kalif Raymond

Jack Fox was phenomenal once again, but Kalif Raymond deserves some praise for his work this season. Not only did Raymond post the best offensive numbers of his career, but he was a stud on special teams and well deserving of his Second-Team All-Pro nod. Raymond, of course, had a return touchdown, but his return skills extend beyond the home run plays. He was churning out decent returns all season long. An extra 10 yards on a return makes a huge difference in the long run. Many were critical of the Lions re-signing Raymond last offseason, but it more than paid off.

Mike Payton

K Michael Badgley

I’m going to go with someone that I would imagine is totally different than anyone else on this list because I’m a crazy person. I’m going with Michael Badgley. Hear me out. It’s not easy to be the kicker who has to come in midseason because the previous kickers didn’t work out. Badgley handled it pretty well. He had some misses, but he also came up big at times, too—like his game-tying field goal against the Bills on Thanksgiving. I say we give the guy a little love.

Erik Schlitt

PP C.J. Moore

I’m sure All-Pro punt returner Kalif Raymond will get a lot of love for this award—which is 100% deserved—so I decided to recognize another impact player in C.J. Moore. The Personal Protector (PP) role on punts is arguably the most critical special teams position beyond the kickers themselves. The PP makes the blocking adjustment calls, is the safety valve against mistakes, and can be a weapon in fakes.

For the second year in a row, Moore finished the season with a PFF special teams grade over 81 and converted at least two special teams fake punts. His first fourth down conversion in 2022 came on literally his first snap back in the PP role following re-signing with the team. While his second conversion came on a fourth-and-8 from their own 26-yard line (!) against the Vikings and was one of the most exciting plays of the season.

Poll

Who was the Lions’ Special Teams Player of the Year?

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    PR Kalif Raymond
    (857 votes)
  • 2%
    K Michael Badgley
    (33 votes)
  • 5%
    ST Josh Woods
    (64 votes)
  • 9%
    PP C.J. Moore
    (115 votes)
  • 11%
    P Jack Fox
    (141 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (4 votes)
1214 votes total Vote Now

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