After a moment in the sun against a team that cut him five years ago, Lions wide receiver Kalif Raymond has won NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 15.
The Detroit Lions second trip to MetLife Stadium this season was extra meaningful for Detroit Lions wide receiver Kalif Raymond. Early in the 2017 season the New York Jets cut him, and once that season was over he faced a decision about whether to keep playing football or not.
Raymond of course kept playing, and he has found a home in Detroit over the last couple seasons. On Sunday against the Jets, he turned his full circle moment into a moment in the sun with a 47-yard punt return touchdown and a handful of receptions.
On Wednesday, Raymond was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 15.
Kalif Raymond adds to Detroit Lions Player of the Week award stash
Raymond is now second in the league with an average of 14.6 yards per punt return this season (17 attempts). He has not dropped a pass on 54 targets this season (via Pro Football Reference). After the win over the Jets, head coach Dan Campbell was sure to highlight Raymond’s contributions.
"I just gave him a game ball,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said after the game. “He’s our iron man. He does everything for us. He’s been in there through some of the injuries we’ve had at receiver. He’s just been there every day, for every game, for every practice. He just goes. He is selfless, he’s disciplined, he’s a hard worker, he’s smart, he’s productive, he endears himself to his teammates and he’s versatile. He can block, he can play in the slot, he can play outside, he’s got run after catch (and) he’s a damn good punt return.”"
Raymond is the fifth Lion to win a Player of the Week award this season, the most they’ve had since their last playoff season in 2016. Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (Week 2), safety Kerby Joseph (Week 9), defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (Week 11) and kicker Michael Badgley (Week 13) are other Lions to win.