Tyler Lockett records career-high 197 kick return yards in Seahawks’ loss

Nov 21, 2017, 7:00 AM | Updated: 10:09 am

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Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett had nearly 200 kick return yards in Monday night's loss. (AP)


Tyler Lockett was in peak form as the Seahawks’ kick return specialist Monday night. And though Seattle’s comeback fell short in a 34-31 loss to the Falcons, the third-year wide receiver had one of his best performances yet since returning from a devastating leg injury that ended his 2016 season.

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Lockett finished the night with a career-high 197 yards on five kick returns, which is the most by any Seahawk in a game since Leon Washington put up 222 in 2010. He provided an electrifying 57-yard return on the Seahawks’ first possession, though that drive later ended with an interception thrown by quarterback Russell Wilson.

Lockett added another 37 yards on four receptions.

“It was great to see that,” head coach Pete Carroll said of Lockett’s night. “That was the whole unit, really, to be celebrated in our room, for coming through and blocking and making all those plays…. we know Lockett’s a terrific returner. It’s just been like the lid’s been on it all year long, so to get him a chance tonight was great. He was pretty much controlling the field for us.”

Lockett hadn’t cracked more than 91 kick return yards through the first nine games this season. The last three games saw him average 19 yards or less per return; this week, he averaged almost 40 yards.

Considering the gruesome injury he suffered less than one year ago – in which his tibia and fibula snapped above the ankle in a compound fracture – Monday night’s display was particularly impressive. (Lockett detailed his rehabilitation from injury in an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Groz and Tom in October here).

When asked by reporters postgame what he did differently against the Falcons, Lockett said he placed more trust in the return and focused on running north and south. He added that special teams coach Brian Schneider had him focus on that method in drills in order to avoid running from sideline to sideline.

“That’s one of the things that we were able to do and hopefully it’s not just a one-hit wonder type of game that we had in the returns,” Lockett said. “Hopefully it’s something that we can continue to build off of and to continue to have a great return.”

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Tyler Lockett records career-high 197 kick return yards in Seahawks’ loss