NFL Kickoff Return Leaders
Career Leaders
CategoryPlayerRecord
Kickoff Returns Brian Mitchell 607
Fair Catches Darian Barnes, Mel Gray, Patrick Peterson and Matt Spaeth 3
Yards Brian Mitchell 14014
Average (75 returns minimum) Gale Sayers 30.6
Touchdowns Josh Cribbs and Leon Washington 8
Returns of 20+ Yards Brian Mitchell 654
Returns of 20+ Yards Brian Mitchell 40
Fumbles Michael Bates 16
Yearly Leaders
Year League Player NO FC YDS AVG LG TD
1920 APFA Arnie Wyman 1
1925 NFL Roddy Lamb 2
1926 NFL Curly Oden 1
1928 NFL Chief Elkins 1
1929 NFL Jack Hagerty and Clarence Ryan 1
1930 NFL Bill Glasgow and Herb Meeker 1
1931 NFL Weert Engelmann 1
1932 NFL Oran Pape 1
1934 NFL Homer Griffith, Harry Newman and Doug Russell 1
1935 NFL Cliff Battles 1
1937 NFL Johnny Blood 1
1938 NFL Dave Smukler 1
1939 NFL Andy Farkas 1
1940 NFL Johnny Hall, Bill Leckonby, George McAfee and Ray Nolting 1
1941 NFL Marshall Goldberg 12 290 24.2 41 0
1942 NFL Marshall Goldberg 15 393 26.2 95t 1
1943 NFL Ken Heineman 16 442 27.6 69 0
1944 NFL Bob Thurbon 12 291 24.3 55 0
1945 NFL Steve Van Buren 13 373 28.7 98t 1
1946 AAFC Chuck Fenenbock 17 479 28.2 97t 1
1946 NFL Abe Karnofsky 21 599 28.5 97t 1
1947 AAFC Chet Mutryn 21 691 32.9 87t 1
1947 NFL Eddie Saenz 29 797 27.5 94t 2
1948 AAFC Monk Gafford 23 559 24.3 58 0
1948 NFL Joe Scott 20 569 28.5 99t 1
1949 AAFC Herman Wedemeyer 30 602 20.1 0
1949 NFL Don Doll 21 536 25.5 56 0
1950 NFL Vitamin Smith 22 742 33.7 97t 3
1951 NFL Lynn Chandnois 12 390 32.5 55 0
1952 NFL Lynn Chandnois 17 599 35.2 93t 2
1953 NFL Joe Arenas 16 551 34.4 82 0
1954 NFL Billy Reynolds 14 413 29.5 51 0
1955 NFL Al Carmichael 14 418 29.9 100t 1
1956 NFL Tommy Wilson 15 477 31.8 103t 1
1957 NFL Jon Arnett 18 504 28.0 98t 1
1958 NFL Ollie Matson 14 497 35.5 101t 2
1959 NFL Abe Woodson 13 382 29.4 105t 1
1960 AFL Ken Hall 19 594 31.3 104t 1
1960 NFL Tom Moore 12 397 33.1 84 0
1961 AFL Dave Grayson 16 453 28.3 73 0
1961 NFL Dick Bass 23 698 30.3 64 0
1962 AFL Bobby Jancik 24 726 30.3 61 0
1962 NFL Abe Woodson 37 1157 31.3 79 0
1963 AFL Bobby Jancik 45 1317 29.3 53 0
1963 NFL Abe Woodson 29 935 32.2 103t 3
1964 AFL Bo Roberson 36 975 27.1 59 0
1964 NFL Clarence Childs 34 987 29.0 100t 1
1965 AFL Abner Haynes 34 901 26.5 60 0
1965 NFL Tommy Watkins 17 584 34.4 94 0
1966 AFL Goldie Sellers 19 541 28.5 100t 2
1966 NFL Gale Sayers 23 718 31.2 93t 2
1967 AFL Zeke Moore 14 405 28.9 92t 1
1967 NFL Travis Williams 18 739 41.1 104t 4
1968 AFL George Atkinson 32 802 25.1 60 0
1968 NFL Preston Pearson 15 527 35.1 102t 2
1969 AFL Billy Thompson 18 513 28.5 63 0
1969 NFL Bobby Ray Williams 17 563 33.1 96t 1
1970 NFL Jim Duncan 20 707 35.4 99t 1
1971 NFL Travis Williams 25 743 29.7 105t 1
1972 NFL Ron Smith 30 924 30.8 94t 1
1973 NFL Carl Garrett 16 486 30.4 67 0
1974 NFL Terry Metcalf 20 623 31.2 94t 1
1975 NFL Walter Payton 14 444 31.7 70 0
1976 NFL Duriel Harris 17 559 32.9 69 0
1977 NFL Ray Clayborn 28 869 31.0 101t 3
1978 NFL Steve Odom 25 677 27.1 95t 1
1979 NFL Larry Brunson 17 441 25.9 89 0
1980 NFL Horace Ivory 36 992 27.6 98t 1
1981 NFL Mike Nelms 37 0 1099 29.7 84 0
1982 NFL Mike Mosley 18 487 27.1 66 0
1983 NFL Fulton Walker 36 0 962 26.7 78 0
1984 NFL Bobby Humphery 22 675 30.7 97t 1
1985 NFL Ron Brown 28 918 32.8 98t 3
1986 NFL Donnie Elder 22 435 19.8 36 0
1987 NFL Sylvester Stamps 24 0 660 27.5 97t 1
1988 NFL Tim Brown 41 0 1098 26.8 97t 1
1989 NFL Rod Woodson 36 0 982 27.3 84t 1
1990 NFL Kevin Clark 20 0 505 25.3 75 0
1991 NFL Mel Gray 36 0 929 25.8 71 0
1992 NFL Jon Vaughn 20 0 564 28.2 100t 1
1993 NFL Robert Brooks 23 0 611 26.6 95t 1
1994 NFL Mel Gray 45 0 1276 28.4 102t 3
1995 NFL Ron Carpenter 20 0 553 27.7 58 0
1996 NFL Michael Bates 33 0 998 30.2 93t 1
1997 NFL Michael Bates 47 0 1281 27.3 56 0
1998 NFL Terry Fair 51 0 1428 28.0 105t 2
1999 NFL Tony Horne 30 1 892 29.7 101t 2
2000 NFL Darrick Vaughn 39 0 1082 27.7 100t 3
2001 NFL Ronney Jenkins 58 0 1541 26.6 93t 2
2002 NFL Martay Jenkins 20 0 559 28.0 95t 1
2003 NFL Jerry Azumah 41 0 1191 29.0 89t 2
2004 NFL Willie Ponder 36 0 967 26.9 91t 1
2005 NFL Terrence McGee 46 0 1391 30.2 99t 1
2006 NFL Justin Miller 46 0 1304 28.3 103t 2
2007 NFL Josh Cribbs 59 0 1809 30.7 100t 2
2008 NFL Danieal Manning 36 0 1070 29.7 83t 1
2009 NFL Clifton Smith 31 0 902 29.1 83 0
2010 NFL David Reed 21 0 616 29.3 103t 1
2011 NFL Joe McKnight 34 0 1073 31.6 107t 1
2012 NFL Jacoby Jones 38 0 1167 30.7 108t 2
2013 NFL Cordarrelle Patterson 43 0 1393 32.4 109t 2
2014 NFL Adam Jones 27 0 844 31.3 97 0
2015 NFL Cordarrelle Patterson 32 0 1019 31.8 101t 2
2016 NFL Cordarrelle Patterson 25 0 792 31.7 104t 1
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