- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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Good morning and ROOOOOAAARRRR!!!!
A Detroit Lions punter has been named the NFC special-teams player of the week for the first time in 20 years. And now, rookie Sam Martin might have his toughest challenge to date in the NFL -- kicking to (or away from) the uber-talented Devin Hester.
"When you play someone like Hester or [Patrick] Peterson, you emphasize a little more trying to eliminate the return game," Martin said. "But no matter who the returner is, that's always the goal.
"So I might focus a little more on really keeping the ball out of bounds or really keeping the ball higher rather than a driven ball against those two teams. But in essence, situations are always different."
The difference this week is Hester, who at one point was the best returner in the NFL. While he hasn't put up numbers like he has in the past, he is still a dangerous part of any team's plans for the return game because he is capable of scoring on any play.
Martin has the second-longest punt in the NFL this season (72 yards) and is sixth in net punting average at 42.7 yards a game. Not bad for a rookie.
And now a look at the Lions from the rest of the Interwebs.
We'll start you with the plethora of coverage we had yesterday. If you missed it, the first question of the week popped up, and Theo Riddick would put "Chronicles" on the back of his jersey if he had a choice. Nate Burleson's surgery went well, while Mikel Leshoure just wants to play. Calvin Johnson missed practice; Reggie Bush was at practice. Ndamukong Suh waits to hear the fate of his appeal, and the Lions made a move for another defensive tackle, D'Anthony Smith.
Despite a benching, Darius Slay remains positive, writes Carlos Monarrez in the Detroit Free Press. Freep columnist Jeff Seidel writes about a film celebrating George Plimpton, the author of "Paper Lion."
Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News writes that Nate Burleson's injury doesn't need to mess up Detroit's season.
Justin Rogers of MLive says that Jason Fox isn't openly campaigning to regain his starter's spot at right tackle.