Ravens’ Tylan Wallace ready to step into bigger role

Photo credit: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports

OWINGS MILLS — It was a moment that Tylan Wallace had always dreamed about.

Now, he’ll have the chance to create more memories.

Wallace returned a punt 76 yards to give the Ravens a 37-31 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14. It was the first time Wallace returned punts in a regular-season game because Pro Bowler Devin Duvernay was forced to the sideline with a back injury.

Wallace was named the AFC Special Teams Players of the Week.

With Duvernay landing on injured reserve, Wallace will serve as the team’s starting returner in the final four games.

“Obviously, it’s just [about] going back there, knowing [and] just doing what I’ve always been doing – what I’ve been doing at practice and everything,” Wallace said. “So, [it’s] kind of the same mindset; nothing really changed. So, [it’s] just going back there [and] doing what I know I can do.”

Wallace returned three punts for 95 yards against the Rams.

The game-winning play was the first-ever punt return for an overtime touchdown in Ravens history. It was also the first “walk-off” return touchdown by the Ravens since safety Will Hill’s 64-yard blocked field-goal attempt return at Cleveland on November 30, 2015, as time expired in the fourth quarter.

Ravens wide receiver Tylan Wallace (16) and quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) celebrate after winning in overtime against the Los Angeles Rams at M&T Bank Stadium. By Jessica Rapfogel-USA Today.

For Wallace, it’s the most surreal moment of his four-year NFL career.

“Just having that moment happen, that’s stuff that I was … Me and my brother would always talk about [how] that’s moments you dream of,” he said. “So, it was really a blessing to be in that moment and to have that happen.” 

Now, he has to refocus and get ready to return kicks in a pivotal game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 15.

Wallace has the confidence to continue to make an impact.

“It’s a great feeling – just being able to go out there and show everybody not only what I knew I could do, but what others believed in me that I could do,” he said. 

Wallace has earned the trust of coach John Harbaugh, who was especially impressed by how Wallace handled the tough, rainy conditions.

“I think he’s earned it,” Harbaugh said. “Don’t discount how hard those catches were, right? Those were some tough catches out there.” 

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