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Thigpen Runs Into The Record Books

Posted Nov 15, 2012

CFL product makes Dolphins history.

Just when it looked like the home fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium were going to jump out of their seats with their team holding an early 10-0 lead, Miami Dolphins kick returner Marcus Thigpen shut them up with a landmark return.

The Michigan native turned on the Jets after getting a clear out block from fellow rookie Olivier Vernon and sprinted into the end zone for a 96-yard touchdown. Little did Thigpen know that he had just run into history as the first Dolphins player to return a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown in the same season. He ran back a punt 72 yards in a Week 1 loss at the Houston Texans.

“That’s a great achievement, don’t get me wrong, but it comes at the wrong time,” Thigpen said. “I got my first return, we lost and I got this return and we lost. It’s a great achievement but I’d much rather have the win than that return.”

Thigpen also joined Ted Ginn and Freddie Solomon as the only players to return a punt and kickoff for touchdowns in their careers. He appeared to be motivated by Leodis McKelvin’s 79-yard punt return for a touchdown less than two minutes into the game that gave the Bills a quick seven-point lead.

“That burns me up when I see somebody else get a return on us because I know our defenders are good,” Thigpen said. “So when I saw that happen I said to myself that I’ve got to go out there and show them what we can do on our side of the ball. I saw a seam to my left and after I saw all of my guys blocking and the kicker downfield I said to myself that I’ve got to take this one. I was fortunate enough and blessed enough to go score.”

This also marked the third time in franchise history that the Dolphins as a team returned a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown in the same season. They also accomplished the feat in 1970 when Jake Scott returned a punt on November 22nd against the Baltimore Colts and Mercury Morris returned a kickoff on December 6th against the Boston Patriots. During the 1989 season, Scott Schwedes returned a punt for a touchdown on December 19th and Marc Logan returned a kickoff on October 1st against the Houston Oilers.

Thigpen entered the game tied for 16th with Green Bay’s Randall Cobb in kickoff return average at 27.8 yards per return and with tonight’s performance he should crack the top 10. He’ll have 10 days to rest his legs before trying to keep it going at home against Seattle.
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