Todd Gurley deserves his due as he continues to have what might end up being one of the greatest statistical seasons for a running back in NFL history.
But we need to step back for a moment and focus on his teammate, Johnny Hekker.
Hekker, in case you’re not aware, makes his living as a punter for the Los Angeles Rams. Over the years, he’s become a multi-purpose weapon for the franchise since he joined the team in 2012, a gifted punter with his leg but one that can pull off a trick play with ease. This season, he’s already been used three times in trick play situations.
Let’s start with this play from Sunday’s loss to the Saints:
Yes, a lot of folks think he got the first down in what would be a big momentum shift for the Saints. But for our purposes, that’s not what we’re paying attention to.
What other team would call for a fake field goal on the road against another top team in the conference and put the ball in the hands of their punter? No one.
Go back a week ago and you’ll see Hekker completing a pass to Sam Shields on a fake punt while the Rams were in their own territory and down 10-0 to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers:
Against the Vikings earlier this year, Hekker showed off his cannon again on this early-third quarter missile that missed:
Again: Hekker (a former high school quarterback) has been this kind of player for a long time – he’s completed 10-of-17 passes in his career. But with three trick plays so far, Hekker is on pace for a career year as a punter/thrower/runner. Sean McVay isn’t afraid to use him in big situations and it’s a strategy that will keep opposing defenses and special teamers very much on their toes. All hail Johnny Hekker.