Jets rookie WR/KR Xavier Gipson has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against the Bills in Week 1.
With the Jets and Bills tied, 16-16, in overtime at MetLife Stadium Monday, Gipson returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown to lift the Green & White to a 22-16 victory. It was the third OT punt return TD in NFL history (Patrick Peterson in 2011 and Tamarick Vanover in 1995). For the night, Gipson had one fair catch and returned 2 others for 66 yards.
"I'm going to speak for our entire locker room and say we knew he was going to get one today," HC Robert Saleh said of Gipson. "We just had a feeling. That kid is electric with the ball in his hands. If I am a team, I am not kicking to him. Let him keep proving it. None of us in the locker room are surprised he took one."
After not hearing his name called in April's NFL Draft, Gipson signed with the Jets in May and fought onto the 53-man roster with an impressive preseason and training camp.
In three seasons at Stephen F. Austin, Gipson returned 3 punts for touchdowns in 17 attempts and last year averaged 31 yards per return over 8 attempts. Over the Jets' four preseason games, Gipson returned 5 punts for an average of 13.4 yards including two returns of 25+ yards.
On the touchdown, Gipson fielded the punt at the Jets 35-yard line, made a pair of Bills miss, reversed fields and took off down the left sideline to the end zone.
"It was meaningful," Gipson said. "Knowing how hard I work, knowing my position, how fast it could have ended and Coach Saleh, I thank those guys for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to show what I can do."