Any hopes Johnnie Lee Higgins had of building on a second season when he had established himself as one of the NFL’s most explosive players were ended in Week 1, when he took a ferocious hit from San Diego’s Eric Weddle. Higgins was knocked out on the play, and although he insisted he was fine when he resumed play in Week 3, statistical evidence suggests the hit KO’d his season as well.
He finished the season averaging a miniscule 5.4 yards per punt attempt with no return longer than 19 yards. On offense, Higgins caught 19 passes for 233 yards. In 15 games, Higgins never reached the end zone. One year after having nine plays which measured 35 yards or more, Higgins had none.
Contrast that with 2008, when Higgins was one of the few bright lights, scoring a team-high six of the Raiders’ 22 touchdowns. He gave Oakland the capability of scoring from anywhere on the field, with punt return scores of 93, 89 and 80 yards and touchdown receptions of 84, 56 and 29 yards. Higgins’ six touchdowns came from an average distance of 71.8 yards.