New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell continued his breakout season in Thursday's 45-14 win over the Washington Redskins, becoming the first Giants tight end since Joe Walton in 1962 to catch three touchdown passes in a single game, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Donnell, a former undrafted free agent out of Grambling State, has burst onto the scene with 25 catches for 236 yards and four touchdowns through four games.
In Week 4 alone, he managed seven receptions for 54 yards and the three touchdowns, making the most of his eight targets. He caught all three touchdowns in the first half, scoring from five, six and six yards out.
Donnell got a shot at a fourth touchdown in the fourth quarter, as he was targeted on back-to-back plays from the Washington 2-yard line, but wasn't able to haul in either pass. The second target, which came on third down, was negated by a Redskins penalty that allowed quarterback Eli Manning to scramble into the end zone on the next play.
Per pro-football-reference.com's play index, the Giants have had 18 instances since 1960 of a player catching three or more touchdowns in one game. The feat has been accomplished by 12 different players, with Del Shofner holding the franchise record of four three-touchdown games.
Donnell and Walton are the only tight ends in franchise history to catch three scoring passes in one contest, while Earnest Gray is the only player at any position to record four touchdown receptions in a game for Big Blue.
According to p-f-r's play index, Donnell's 54 receiving yards mark the 20th-lowest total posted by any player in a game that included three touchdowns receptions. There have been 364 such performances since 1960, with the record for fewest receiving yards held by tight end Mack Alston, who caught three passes for 22 yards and three touchdowns in a 1975 game for the Houston Oilers.