Tavon Austin brings home NFC special teams player of the week

AP

Punt returners are usually reticent to field punts close to their own goal line, but it worked out pretty well for Rams wide receiver/punt returner Tavon Austin last Sunday.

Austin took a punt 98 yards for a touchdown as part of a touchdown-filled day against the Colts in a 38-8 Rams victory. That punt return helped Austin to 172 total return yards on the day and made him this week’s NFC special teams special teams player of the week.

Austin’s punt return came in the second quarter and gave the Rams a 21-0 lead on their way to the upset victory. They would go on to extend that lead to 35-0 with a little more than a minute gone by in the third quarter thanks to two more Austin touchdowns. He scored on a 57-yard catch from Kellen Clemens later in the second and then went 81 yards on another reception in the third quarter.

Austin joined Randy Moss and Gale Sayers as the only rookies with three touchdowns in a game of 50-plus yards and his 314 all-purpose yards were the second-most in Rams history.