Saints' Blake Gillikin Shares Text About 'Random' NFL Drug Testing After 81-Yard Punt

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 21, 2022

Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It turns out punting the ball 81 yards might catch the eye of fans and others.

Perhaps even the NFL's drug testers.

New Orleans Saints punter Blake Gillikin blasted an 81-yard punt during Friday's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. On Sunday, he shared a message that said he was chosen for a "random" drug test with the caption "punt at your own risk."

Blake Gillikin @blakegillikin

Punt at your own risk <a href="https://t.co/Hb0rD4oqNs">https://t.co/Hb0rD4oqNs</a> <a href="https://t.co/VKwKIcdOPm">pic.twitter.com/VKwKIcdOPm</a>

Gillikin punted five times in all and averaged 59.4 yards per kick with one downed inside the 20-yard line.

He was also impressive in the team's preseason opener against the Houston Texans with six punts at an average of 50.2 yards with three downed inside the 20-yard line.

The Penn State product saw game action for the first time in his career during the 2021 season with two kickoffs, which both went for touchbacks, and 83 punts. His 47.7 yards per punt total was the seventh-highest mark in the league.

Gillikin also won the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month in October.

It was quite the start to his NFL career, but Friday's punt suggested he could challenge a Saints' franchise record if he replicates the feat during the regular season. Tom McNeill holds the franchise record for longest punt at 81 yards, which he set during a 1969 game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Perhaps that mark will be in Gillikin's sights when the Saints take the field for their season opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 11.


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