It has been literal decades since the Green Bay Packers had a legitimate kick returner. For the first half of the season, that role went to Amari Rodgers who fumbled his way out of town. Over the past month and a half, the role has been filled by Keisean Nixon, who has brought a level of excitement to the position Packers fans have not seen since Desmond Howard. After the Packers win on Monday night over the Los Angeles Rams, both Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur took the time to praise Nixon and his spark to the team.
.@keiseannixon might be one of the best returners in the league 👏
— NFL (@NFL) December 20, 2022
When speaking to the media after the game, Rodgers had this to say about Nixon:
#Packers Aaron Rodgers made it a point to say that in all his 18 years, he's never seen an opposing kicker kick away from one of their returners, aka Keisean Nixon. Had to think where they'd be if that change had been made earlier. Big kudos to Nixon.
— Lily Zhao (@LilySZhao) December 20, 2022
It’s not like Rodgers has had awful returners all the time in his 18 seasons. Randall Cobb, Micah Hyde, and Tramon Williams were all serviceable in that role during their time. However, none of them did what Keisean Nixon is doing.
What exactly is it that Nixon is doing? Well, he had 131 total return yards against the Rams. It was his fifth straight game with 100+ return yards. His 95 kick return yards on Monday Night snapped a streak of four-straight games with 100+ kick return yards. The Packers’ record for such games in a season is six, which was set back in 1971.
Matt LaFleur Also Praises Keisean Nixon
In his own postgame press conference, Matt LaFleur was asked about Nixon’s play and why it took the Packers so long to put him in that position. His answer:
Matt LaFleur on Keisean Nixon as a returner:
“Probably gonna get criticized for not playing him early (in the season), and that’s fair. We should’ve had him in there.”
Says they didn’t know what they had in Nixon as a returner early in the season.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) December 20, 2022
I’m really not sure what more there is to add to this. He’s right. They should have had him there a long time ago. Who knows what the Packers’ record would look like if they had?
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