FOXBORO, Mass. — Saturday is a special day for Matt Lengel, and not just because it’s Christmas Eve.
Lengel suited up for his fifth career NFL game in the New England Patriots’ AFC East matchup with the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. But the reserve tight end hadn’t recorded a catch, much less a target, in any of his previous four games.
That all changed Saturday. Late in the second quarter with the Patriots already up by 13 points, quarterback Tom Brady delivered a strike to Lengel at the goal line for an 18-yard touchdown reception.
The catch was Lengel’s first career reception, as well as his first TD. Not a bad way to start your NFL career.
New England signed Lengel on Nov. 2 as insurance after Rob Gronkowski went down with an injury, and it appears that insurance just paid off.
The 25-year-old also made history for a Boston-area school. Lengel redshirted his freshman year at Northeastern in 2009 — back when the Huskies still had a team — before transferring to Eastern Kentucky. With Saturday’s score, he became the most recent former Northeastern player to score an NFL touchdown.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images