Patriots Punter Completely Uninterested in Even Trying to Tackle Chargers Returner

Bryce Baringer
Bryce Baringer /

One of the very, very few bright spots in this New England Patriots season is that they have a decent rookie punter. Bryce Baringer, selected in the sixth round of April's draft, ranked 14th in the NFL in yards per punt with 25 punts downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line, which is tied for third for most in the league. He might have some inflated statistics through a usage lens given how terrible the Patriots' offense is and how often they need to trot out the punt team but he has stepped up to the plate in a way none of his other teammates have this season.

Except when it comes to tackling anybody. On Sunday Baringer was called for duty late in the second quarter with the Los Angeles Chargers leading, 3-0. Baringer boomed a long punt out of his own end zone and outkicked his coverage a bit, leading to a great return by Derius Davis. It also led to a big lowlight for Baringer, who was captured doing... this... instead of trying to tackle the return man.

Come on, man. Expectations are not particularly high for the punter on a return. Just make an honest effort to get in the way then go home and cash your check. Baringer couldn't meet that bare minimum threshold and will definitely be hearing about it from his coaches next week in the film room.