We’re not entirely sure yet if what Carolina Panthers safety Jeremy Chinn did on Sunday is a first in the NFL, but recovering back-to-back fumbles and returning them for touchdowns certainly isn’t something you see every day.

Already considered a potential Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate by some, Chinn made his stock soar when he scored touchdowns on consecutive plays against the Minnesota Vikings.

The first score happened with a little over 14 minutes left in the third quarter, with the Vikings leading the Panthers 10-7. From Minnesota’s 27-yard line Kirk Cousins took the snap for the Vikes and dropped back, though the pocket quickly collapsed and he was swarmed by Carolina defenders. He lost the football and Chinn swooped in and picked it up right away, racing to the endzone for the quick score, which also happened to be his first NFL touchdown.

Minnesota received the kickoff and took over again at their own 25-yard line. Reeling from the turnover score, they kept things simple on first down, handing off to Dalvin Cook for a momentum-setting run. However, the momentum quickly shifted in the other direction when Cook lost the football in the middle of a scrum and Chinn once again snagged it off the ground and seemingly ran to the endzone before many other players even knew what was happening. Just like that, the Panthers not only had a two-score lead but Chinn had become the first defensive player in Panthers history to score two touchdowns in one game.

Is Chinn the first NFL defensive player to ever score back-to-back touchdowns like that? We don’t have confirmation yet. But regardless, that is one heck of a series for the young player and the kind of centerpiece for his highlight reel that could come into play during award season.


About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Curbed, Neighborhoods.com, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.