These things aren’t supposed to happen.
No one in the NFL should be able to bobble a catch, get speared in the sternum and still end up with a touchdown.
Lavelle Hawkins found a way, however, and the San Francisco 49ers’ most unsporting wideout of the preseason managed to find redemption for his showboating ways during Thursday night’s game against the San Diego Chargers.
The bizarre spectacle has been spun into a GIF, courtesy of For The Win’s Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz.
GIF via For The Win
Hawkins’ touchdown could have easily ended up an interception. The wide receiver tipped up a pass from backup quarterback B.J. Daniels, which left the ball dangling in the secondary’s airspace.
Hawkins somehow managed to reel the ball in and was immediately stuck in the chest by Chargers safety Jahleel Addae. Failing to wrap up, Addae allowed Hawkins to bounce off his pads, and the following chase scene is deserving of a “Yakety Sax” soundtrack.
As amazing as Hawkins’ catch was, the Chargers defense was right there, matching his brilliance step for step with complete awfulness. No one should get a wide-open shot at an unprotected wide receiver and fail to bring them down.
One man’s folly was Hawkins’ saving grace, however, and the botched tackle could have very well cemented his spot on the 49ers roster. The team’s final roster cuts are fast approaching, and Hawkins’ on-field antics appeared destined to overshadow his on-field contributions.
On Sunday, Hawkins managed to rack up three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in one game. Two of the penalties occurred on the same kick return, when Hawkins took one to the house, high-stepped into the end zone and removed his helmet—big no-nos in the eyes of referees working the 2013-14 NFL season.
All things will likely be forgiven, however, considering Hawkins’ increasing ability to find his way to the end zone.
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