Early in a win over the Seahawks on Sunday, Hekker blindsided Seattle pass rusher Cliff Avril following a second quarter punt. He was penalized. But immediately following the hit, Avril got back up and stormed toward Hekker, who buckled halfway to the ground to avoid any contact.
Later on in the game, Hekker was swarmed by Avril and Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett. When Bennett got close, Hekker hit the ground.
"It was a stupid play on my part," Hekker, who seemed to have a good sense of humor about the whole thing, told The Seattle Times. "You don't poke a bear."
Avril and Bennett agreed.
"He's just scared," Bennett said, via ESPN 710 in Seattle. "He ain't nothing. He's soft in my eyes. Anybody who hits somebody when they're not looking -- and then he's in a protected position and he wants to hit somebody when they're not looking. So to me, he's just a coward."
Bennett added: "He's scared. He squealed like a little girl."
And Avril for good measure: "I think he was actually kinda shook, like he thought we were really going to jump him. But it is what is. Hopefully he does get fined, though, because we would get fined for it."
While Hekker expected some good-natured razzing from teammates and Avril accepted his apology, Bennett remained unhappy about the way this went down especially if it ended up injuring Avril in any way.
Just like many other incidents in the NFL, Sunday's incident toes the line between hilarious and offensive. The novelty of a punter blowing up a formidable pass rusher when he's not looking is funny, but probably not when you're the guy on the ground with millions of dollars riding on your health.