On Monday the New England Patriots announced that they will honor former running back Kevin Faulk in a special ceremony during halftime of Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. Faulk has struggled to stay on the Patriots active roster and retired shortly after this season began.
Drafted in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft out of LSU, Faulk quickly became an integral part of the Patriots offense. As a running back and kick returner, Faulk is near the top of several all-time lists in Patriots history. He retired as the all-time leader in all-purpose yards (12,349), kickoff return yards (4,098), and return specialist yards (5,041).
Faulk finished his career sixth in team history in all-time punt return yards (943), fifth all-time leading rusher (3,607), fifth in receptions (431), and eleventh in pass receiving yards (3,701). The running back played in 161 games over his 13-year Patriots career averaging 4.2 yards a play.
Faulk also reached NFL milestones becoming the 26th running back in league history to reach 400 receptions. He is just one of six NFL players to gain 3,000 yards rushing and 3,000 yards receiving during the 2000’s joining Tiki Barber, Marshall Faulk, Michael Pittman, LaDanian Tomlinson, and Brian Westbrook.
Along with quarterback Tom Brady and offensive tackle Matt Light, Faulk was a part of Patriots teams that won five AFC championships and three Super Bowls. For a franchise that five years before he arrived nearly moved to St. Louis, Faulk was a key factor in keeping them in New England.
Faulk is the second player to be honored by the Patriots this season after the team inducted former wide receiver and defensive back Troy Brown into their hall of fame at the beginning of the season. Later this season they will also hold a ceremony for former left tackle Matt Light. But this Sunday will be reserved for Kevin Faulk, one of the best running backs in team history.