Jaguars kick returner Jamal Agnew wins NFL honor for dazzling return touchdowns

John Reid
Florida Times-Union

CINCINNATI - Jaguars return specialist Jamal Agnew was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month by the NFL Thursday.

He is the first player in NFL history to have 100-plus returns for TDs in consecutive games. Last week against the Arizona Cardinals, Agnew returned a missed 68-yard field goal 109 yards for a touchdown that set a franchise record and tied an NFL record the longest play for a touchdown in league history.

Agnew’s 109-yard return was the first missed field goal returned for a TD since cornerback Antonio Cromartie's return in 2007. 

In Week 2, Agnew returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown, becoming the first player in the NFL this season to score on a kickoff return.  

Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew (39) runs the ball 109 yards for a touchdown after catching a missed field goal attempt by the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday.

Agnew is only the second player in Jaguars history to win Special Teams Player of the Month, joining punter Chris Hanson, who won the award in September 2005. 

Agnew is the first veteran Jaguars player to win AFC Player of the Month since RB Fred Taylor in December 2007.

Live updates:The latest from Jaguars-Bengals on Thursday Night Football

Fixing kicking? Jaguars sign former Steelers, UCF kicker Matthew Wright to practice squad but Josh Lambo remains

New team:Jaguars trade CB CJ Henderson to Carolina Panthers for TE Dan Arnold, third-round pick

Another chance:Defense determined to avoid a repeat of Joe Mixon's steamrolling

Through Week 3, Agnew leads the NFL with a 46.0 kickoff return average (three returns for 138 yards). With his performance last weekend, Agnew became the ninth player in NFL history with multiple 100-plus yard special teams returns in the same season and the 15th player in NFL history with two return touchdowns through the first three weeks of an NFL season.

 He is the first player in NFL history with 100-plus yard TDs in consecutive games and the first player to record two return TDs in September since WR Trindon Holliday did so in 2013.

Agnew has recorded seven special teams return touchdowns (four punt returns, two kickoff returns and one field goal return) since entering the NFL in 2017, the most of any player in that span.

Wright steps in for Lambo 

With Josh Lambo ruled out for non-injury related personal reasons, the Jaguars elevated former UCF kicker Matthew Wright to the active roster for Thursday night's game. Wright was signed to the practice squad on Monday. Lambo missed practices on both Wednesday and Thursday and was officially ruled out by the franchise on Wednesday.

He missed two PAT attempts in last week's 31-19 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. In Week 2 against the Denver Broncos, Lambo missed field goals of 48 and 52 yards.       

Wright made 4 of 4 field-goal attempts and all seven of his conversion attempts for the Pittsburgh Steelers last season after being signed to the practice squad on Nov. 30. His practice-squad contract expired on Jan. 18 and he was not resigned.    

Austin activated from reserve/injured list

Wide receiver Tavon Austin was activated from the reserve/injured-designated for return list to active roster prior to Thursday night's game. He has been on the injured reserve since Sept. 1 with a quadricep injury.  

Austin, a ninth-year veteran, caught eight passes for 89 yards and one touchedown in the preseason before his injury. He is a former first-round pick in 2013 by the then-St. Louis Rams. He also played for the Dallas Cowboys (2018-19) and four games with the Green Bay Packers last season. Austin has recorded 3,366 scrimmage yards in his nine-year career (1,340 rushing yards and 2,026 receiving yards).

Robinson pushing to score  

Running back James Robinson is the only player in franchise history to record two rushing touchdowns on Thursday night. Robinson accomplished the feat in last season's 31-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins at TIAA Bank Field He scored on runs of 1 and 11 yards. Robinson is coming off his best game of the season last week when he rushed for a season-high 88 yards on 15 carries and scored on a 4-yard run.