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Lavelle Hawkins runs kick back for touchdown, gets multiple celebration penalties

The San Francisco 49ers head into the second half leading the Minnesota Vikings 20-7, thanks to a big touchdown return by Lavelle Hawkins. After the 49ers gave up a touchdown to the Vikings, wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins lined up deep for the ensuing kickoff. He wound his way through traffic for a 105-yard kickoff return, showing some solid burst on the play.

Unfortunately for Hawkins, he got a little too into it, and earned himself a pair of penalties for excessive celebration. During the return, he pointed the ball back at the Vikings while high-stepping, and then upon getting into the end zone, he removed his helmet. The first ball-waving seemed a bit ticky-tack, but the second penalty for removing his helmet was spot on. It is kind of amazing that a player can forget that rule so blatantly. Fortunately the penalty was added on to the ensuing kickoff, so the 49ers kept the touchdown.


Hawkins is likely on the wrong side of the roster bubble, but the big return should buy him a little more time. The 49ers return competition seemed to be focused on LaMichael James and Perrish Cox, but Hawkins could insert himself into the competition with a strong close to the evening. It's a bit of a long-shot, but you never know.