Watch: Chargers' Travis Benjamin offers entry for worst punt return ever

Los Angeles Chargers receiver/special teamer Travis Benjamin is one of the better punt returners in the NFL. But in the second quarter of his team’s game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, Benjamin looked more like a high school freshman than a sixth-year professional whose career 11.7 yards per return average is eighth-best in league history.

Behold, one of the worst, if not the worst, punt returns we’ve ever seen:


Benjamin muffed Ryan Allen’s impressive punt around the 12. Trying to field the ball was his first mistake. Knowing Benjamin’s ability, Allen directed the ball toward the sideline and away from him, and it was well inside the 20, so Benjamin would have been better served to let it bounce and see if it got to the end zone for a touchback before a Patriots player got to it or to fair catch the ball.

But he didn’t, and in picking up the loose ball, he tracked backward and into the end zone, where he was tackled by New England’s Jonathan Jones and Brandon King for a Patriots safety.

The Patriots eventually won the game 21-13.

The Patriots tweeted that it was the first time a team had scored a safety on a punt return since Sept. 21, 2003, when the New Orleans Saints had one against the Tennessee Titans.

Humorously, Benjamin was named AFC special teams player of the week last week, after his 65-yard punt return touchdown in the Chargers’ shutout win over Denver.


And the fun (well, fun for everyone not on the Chargers or rooting for the Chargers), continued to the official signal of the safety, as side judge Boris Cheek and back judge Greg Steed synchronized their motion.

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