Vikings RB Kene Nwangwu has been named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, the NFL announced today.
Four minutes into the third quarter with Minnesota trailing New England, 23-16, Nwangwu tight roped the sideline to return a kick 97 yards for a game-tying touchdown in the Week 12 victory over the Patriots. Nwangwu’s 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown marks the third of his career and he joined Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson and Ravens WR Devin Duvernay as the only players in the NFL to return a kick for a touchdown this season. Since entering the league in 2021, Nwangwu leads the league in kick return touchdowns (3).
Nwangwu’s three career kick return touchdowns is the third-most in franchise history, trailing only Cordarrelle Patterson and Percy Harvin, who both had five. Through 41 career kick returns, he is averaging a kick return touchdown every 13.7 returns. Nwangwu became the first player in franchise history to record a kick return touchdown on Thanksgiving and his 97-yard return is tied with Chicago Cardinals RB Homer Griffith (11/29/34) for the second-longest return in a Thanksgiving game in NFL history.
This marks the second time Nwangwu has won this award, with the first coming in Week 9 of the 2021 season against Baltimore. He is the third running back in franchise history to win NFC Special Teams Player of the Week and the first Vikings RB to win the award in back-to-back seasons. Nwangwu becomes the fifth player to win NFC Player of the Week honors under Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell.
VIKINGS NAMED NFC PLAYER OF THE WEEK UNDER O’CONNELL
|Special Teams||Greg Joseph, K||2022, Week 4, vs. New Orleans (London)|
|Special Teams||Ryan Wright, P||2022, Week 6, at Miami|
|Defensive||Za’Darius Smith, OLB||2022, Week 8, vs. Arizona|
|Offensive||Justin Jefferson, WR||2022, Week 10, at Buffalo|
|Special Teams||Kene Nwangwu, RB||2022, Week 12, vs. New England|