Dolphins punter’s trick play ruined by penalty for second time in three weeks

If the Dolphins could figure out how to correctly report as eligible receivers, punter Matt Haack would be having a great December in the trick-play category. Instead, for the second time in three weeks, Haack’s fun was ruined Sunday.

Miami’s punter completed a 14-yard pass to Kamu Grugier-Hill during a Week 15 matchup with the Patriots. It was good for a first down on fourth-and-seven in New England territory. But the referees threw a flag because Grugier-Hill didn’t report as eligible. 

It wasn’t just bad luck for Haack on this occasion. Two weeks ago, the Dolphins punter had a rushing touchdown called back because they aligned in an illegal formation.

MORE: A penalty ruined this fun trick-play rushing touchdown by Dolphins punter

Haack first gained trick-play fame in 2019 with a passing with a 1-yard passing touchdown to Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders. He would’ve been compiling quite the resume if not for Miami’s penalties in 2020.

The only completion of Haack’s career prior to Sunday was that pitched pass to Sanders, so it would’ve been a doubling of his career total if his throw to Grugier-Hill counted. 

It’s not immediately obvious what makes Haack such a popular trick-play option for Miami coach Brian Flores. Haack didn’t punt in high school, but he wasn’t a quarterback, either. He played wide receiver, according to the Dolphins’ official website. Now, Haack is living his pro dreams with trust from his coaching staff to try trick plays. If only his teammates could follow the rules when those plays are going to work.

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