Patriots

Connolly Named AFC Special Teams Player Of Week

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Patriots offensive lineman Dan Connolly (63) straight arms Green Bay Packers safety Charlie Peprah, center, on his way to the end zone on his touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday Dec. 19, 2010. The Patriots won 31-27. At right is Patriots safety Sergio Brown.(AP Photo/Tim Cook)

Patriots offensive lineman Dan Connolly (63) straight arms Green Bay Packers safety Charlie Peprah, center, on his way to the end zone on his touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday Dec. 19, 2010. The Patriots won 31-27. At right is Patriots safety Sergio Brown.(AP Photo/Tim Cook)

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FOXBORO (AP) – New England Patriots guard Dan Connolly has been honored as the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week by the NFL.

Connolly returned a kickoff 71 yards in Sunday night’s 31-27 win over the Green Bay Packers, believed to be the longest return ever by an NFL offensive lineman.

According to STATS LLC, it was the longest since 1976, when the league began keeping complete records.

He returned the ball to the Packers 4-yard line and the Patriots scored three plays later.

Connolly is the second lineman to receive the special teams honor.

Tackle Langston Walker of the Oakland Raiders received it for blocking a field goal attempt in Week 12 of the 2004 season.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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