The long season and its new kickoff rules haven’t been kind to Brandon Banks, the Redskins’ second-year return specialist.
“I feel like any time I touch the ball I can go the distance,” he said. “Time was ticking and I was getting frustrated with it. But I’m just gonna stay relaxed and when it comes, it comes.”
It finally came on Sunday, as Banks turned in the longest punt return of his young career in an eventual 27-24 overtime loss to the Cowboys.
Midway through the third quarter, Dallas’ Mat McBriar sent a punt 60 yards, and Banks fielded it on the Washington 11-yard line. Banks saw room to run, cut through a hole and received key blocks from Anthony Armstrong and Terrence Austin along the way. He sprinted 55 yards downfield before he was pushed out of bounds.
“The other 10 guys were running their butt off,” Banks said. “They gave me a lot of space to catch the ball, gave me space to run. I’m a space player.
“I didn’t see enough daylight, obviously,” he continued. “I didn’t get in the end zone.”
Though the Redskins’ offense began its possession on the Dallas’ 34-yard line, they failed to move the chains. Graham Gano’s ensuing 49-yard field goal attempt was wide right.
“It’s frustrating but at the end of the day, we got to all work as a team,” Banks said of the missed opportunity. “Obviously, I got to put it closer so we can put points on the board.”
On the day, Banks had 97 yards on three punt returns and 93 yards on four kick returns.