Detroit Lions’ Matt Prater named NFC special teams player of the week

Prater’s four punts were the first of his career

Lions’ placekicker Matt Prater was forced into double duty on Sunday in the Lions’ 35-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals. He didn’t miss a beat.

Prater was named the NFC special teams player of the week on Wednesday. He also won the award last season in Weeks 9 and 12.

(Photo courtesy of Detroit Lions)

When punter Kasey Redfern injured his knee early in the game, Prater then became the punter too which was a first in his career. He had four punts averaging 34.8 yards.

He kicked a 58-yard field goal — his only attempt of the day. It was the longest field goal in team history at home and tied for the second longest ever.

Prater joins Jason Hanson as the only Lions kickers since at least 1960 to register a punt and a 50-yard field goal in the same game. Hanson punted three times and made a 53-yard field goal at Tennessee on Sept. 23, 2012.

Prater’s 58-yard field goal was the 36th 50-plus yard field goal of his career. It is also the third he has made from at least 58 yards since joining the Lions in 2014.

Prater was also 2 of 2 on extra points.

Redfern is now out for the season. He had temporarily replaced Sam Martin, one of the NFL’s best punters, who is out with a non-football related injury.

Punter Jeff Locke was signed by the Lions on Tuesday.

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Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on Amazon.com. She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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