Punting-kicking double duty earns Matt Prater special teams player of the week

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Lions kicker Matt Prater had never punted in an NFL game until Sunday. He was called upon in a pinch, and did pretty well, and now he’s been named the NFC special teams player of the week.

Prater punted four times after Lions punter Kasey Redfern got hurt, and although Prater’s punts averaged just 34.8 yards, none of them were returned and one was downed inside the 20-yard line. Prater’s 34.8-yard net average was actually better than the other punter in the game, Arizona’s Andy Lee.

Oh, and Prater did his other job pretty well, hitting all three of his kicks, including a 58-yard field goal. That was the longest kick in the NFL in Week One.

The Lions hope Prater won’t be pressed into punting duty again. But they’d love to see a few more of those 58-yard field goals, and a few more player of the week awards for the veteran kicker who has earned a reputation as one of the best special teams players in football.