Mike Boone isn’t a gunner assigned to get to the opposing punt returner first, but the third-year running back’s effort to outrun Texans blockers and hit the ball out of DeAndre Carter’s hands earned him his first NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award.

Boone’s forced fumble, recovered by receiver/gunner Dan Chisena, set up the Vikings offense for a quick field goal drive at the end of the first quarter of Sunday’s 31-23 win. The reserve running back has earned a leading role on special teams, ranking fourth on the team with 61 snaps in four games.

Boone is the Vikings’ first non-kicking player to win the NFC’s weekly special teams award since former punt returner Marcus Sherels in 2015. Kicker Dan Bailey earned the honor three times last year.

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