When Dan Connolly fielded a squib kick last Sunday night against the Packers, little did he know that he would rip off a 71-yard return. Little did he know that he set a new record for kick returns by an offensive lineman, and little did he know that it would become a highlights sensation. Unfortunately, Connolly sustained a concussion later in the game and he’s yet to speak to the media about his return. However, his name has stayed in the headlines throughout the week, as he has been the recipient of an honor or two.
Earlier in the week, Dan Connolly was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week by the NFL. He is only the second offensive lineman to ever receiver the award. He was also honored in the Hall of Fame. Not the NFL Hall of Fame, but the Hall at Patriot Place. Connolly has been honored with a display to commemorate his kick-off return.
It will be nice to eventually hear what he has to say about all of the attention he is getting, and it will also be nice to see him on the field again. He has yet to practice this week and may not play Sunday. Despite all of the accolades he has received this week, his play throughout the season has been nothing short of remarkable. He filled in seamlessly at left guard for Logan Mankins while he was holding out and then switched to the right side when Stephen Neal when down for the year with an injury. Connolly has been an unsung hero for the Pats this year and it’s nice to see that he is finally getting some attention. Let’s hope he makes it back onto the field sooner than later.