CHARLOTTE – Wide receiver Damiere Byrd has been named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Byrd's 103-yard kickoff return Sunday helped propel the Panthers into the playoffs, though he suffered a season-ending leg injury later in Carolina's 22-19 victory over Tampa Bay and was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.
The return was the longest play in the NFL this season and the longest kickoff return in franchise history. It surpassed a 101-yard return by Kealoha Pilares in 2011, a play that earned Pilares the conference's weekly honor back then. That marked the last time a Panther had been named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week before Byrd was honored.