- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 20, 2015

LANDOVER — Dustin Hopkins didn’t hear the sarcastic cheer that reverberated through FedEx Field when he sent the opening kickoff through the end zone.

“I was kind of in the clouds,” Hopkins said shortly after playing in his first game with the Washington Redskins, a 24-10 victory over the St. Louis Rams. “I try to bring that aspect to the game, and so I’m glad I could give the fans something.”

Hopkins signed with the Redskins on Monday, shortly after Kai Forbath, who was entering his fourth season with the team, was released. Cut by the New Orleans Saints at the end of training camp, Hopkins was signed in part because of the strength of his leg, which led to a touchback on four of his five kickoffs.

He also kicked a 46-yard field goal with 53 seconds remaining in the first quarter, sending the ball roughly halfway up the uprights.

“To be honest, I didn’t try to approach it any different than any other game that I’ve played in,” Hopkins said. “I definitely felt a little more juice, a little more adrenaline, but as far as my approach went — pregame, everything else, my mindset, taking my steps back, whatever it may be — everything was, I tried to make it as much as the same as I can.”

The only one of Hopkins‘ five kickoffs that was returned was taken by running back Benny Cunningham, who fielded the ball eight yards deep and returned it to the Rams’ 20-yard line.

Hopkins was drafted out of Florida State by the Buffalo Bills in 2013, but he spent that season on injured reserve after injuring his groin. He was only on the Saints’ practice squad for the final month last year.

“I know I didn’t do a lot [on Sunday],” Hopkins said, “but it was nice just being part of a team when it matters.”

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