Once again, Cleveland Browns kicker Dustin Hopkins is the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Just one week after drilling four second-half field goals (including two with less than four minutes to go) to help the Browns hand the San Francisco 49ers their first loss of the season, Hopkins was a perfect 4-for-4 in his field goal attempts on Sunday as the Browns escaped Indianapolis with a 39-38 victory against the Colts.
Three of Hopkins’ four field goals on Sunday were beyond 50 yards, and he also made all three of his extra points. Last week and this week mark the fourth and fifth times in the 33-year-old’s 11-year NFL career that he’s been named Special Teams Player of the Week.
Dustin going back to back! ✌️
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 25, 2023
On the season, Hopkins has converted 16 of his 18 field goal attempts (7-for-7 on field goals of 50 yards or longer) and has made all eight of his extra point attempts. He’s the first kicker in NFL history to have made a field goal of 50 yards or longer in five consecutive games in a single season.
With every kick he makes, Hopkins never fails to point upwards and acknowledge God, who made it possible. When given the opportunity, Hopkins has consistently spoken about his faith in Christ, even while playing a position that doesn’t always garner a lot of media attention.
Last season, Hopkins was with the Los Angeles Chargers, and on “Monday Night Football” in Week 6 against the Denver Broncos, he injured his right hamstring in the second quarter. Despite the injury, he gutted through the pain for the rest of the game and eventually knocked a 39-yard kick through the uprights to give his team a 19-16 overtime victory. Afterward, he praised God in an on-field postgame interview.
“I just want to say ‘thank You’ to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” he told ESPN’s Lisa Salters. “I’ve got so much to be thankful for apart from football, and so when something like this happens, I’m blessed either way. But to be on the good side of that obviously feels a lot better. But yeah, I was hurting pretty good.”
Hopkins would eventually miss the remainder of the season due to his injury, and this past August was traded to the Browns for a 2025 seventh-round pick. When asked about his reaction to the trade, he said he was surprised, but he was also grounded in Something far greater than his uncertainties.
“I believe in the providence of God,” Hopkins said in a press conference shortly after joining the team. “I think that there are no accidents, so I’m excited to be here and excited to get to work.”
Later in the press conference, Hopkins remembered his rookie season with the Buffalo Bills, tearing his groin before the season had even begun, and spending many nights in prayer.
“Everything is a blessing,” he said, looking back on his NFL journey. “If I never played again, I’ve got a lot of things to be thankful for, but I stand here X amount of years later and I’m just thankful to still be playing the game.”
In July 2022, Hopkins was also a guest on the Sports Spectrum Podcast.
“I think a lot of times, I try to do it on my own strength, like, ‘I’ve got to be better about reading’ or ‘I’ve got to be better about praying without ceasing throughout my day,’” Hopkins said on the podcast of his tendency to rely on himself rather than the Lord. “… Seeking Him in those moments and seeking His presence, I think those other things come along with Him.”
Hopkins will continue to glorify God on the field and off, knowing he is held secure by his Father in Heaven.
Cleveland sits at 4-2 thanks in part to Hopkins’ production, and is tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for second place in the AFC North. The Browns face an important matchup in Seattle on Sunday, as they take on the Seahawks (4-2) and try to extend their winning streak to three. The game is set for 4:05 p.m. ET.
– WATCH: ‘I ONCE WAS’ – NFL Kicker Dustin Hopkins
– Chargers kicker Dustin Hopkins kicks game-winner, thanks ‘Lord & Savior’
– SS PODCAST: Chargers’ Dustin Hopkins on trusting God in unpredictable career
– SS PODCAST: NFL analyst Jay Feely on parenting, growing in faith, trip to Israel
– Carlson brothers Anders and Daniel make NFL history, share deep faith in God