Baltimore Ravens wide receiver and special-teams performer Tylan Wallace has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week following his game-winning punt return in the team's Week 14 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
Wallace secured a victory for the Ravens, their 10th this season, with a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown during overtime, improving the team's record to 10-3 and giving the Flock the lead in the AFC and the AFC North division by extension.
This was Wallace's first significant play in the role of a punt returner, one he had taken on in the past but never to such a successful extent.
Wallace assumed the punt-returning duties in the second half of Week 14 after teammate Devin Duvernay exited the game due to a back injury, later confirmed to have put him on IR for the next four weeks.
Speaking about the play after the game, Wallace said, "I hadn't had too many in-game punt returns. The main thing for me, especially with the weather, was 'I need to catch it first before anything.'
"On that play, we had the return set up, and I thought, 'This is a perfect opportunity to put the game away.' Shoutout to the guys blocking for me. It was wide open," Wallace explained.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh praised Wallace's dedication and attitude, stating, "Tylan was nothing but hard work and positive attitude all the way through, just always praying for his opportunity and hoping for his opportunity.
"Then, he gets it and you see what he did with it. That's a great story to me. That's a pretty wonderful thing," Harbaugh told reporters.
Wallace's recognition as the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week was simply due because he was the most unexpected player to ever win a game for Baltimore in the way they did, let alone with his limited experience at the role he was put into last weekend. Congrats, Tylan!