Los Angeles Chargers kicker Dustin Hopkins talked about his Christian faith and thanked God for his team’s big win over the Denver Broncos on Monday.
Hopkins, who was fighting through a hamstring injury in the latter half of the game, explained that his Christian faith was a leading force in his persevering through the pain, according to ESPN.
“Before every kick, you knew that it was going to feel like somebody stabbed you with a knife,” Hopkins said of the right hamstring injury he suffered in the first half. “I was just kind of committed to swinging and dealing with the pain after the kick.”
Hopkins said he felt a “pop and pain” during an extra point attempt early in the second quarter. “That first extra point I just felt a pop, and it kind of went downhill from there,” Hopkins told ESPN’s Lisa Salters after the game.
However, over the course of the game, he went on to convert 4 of 4 field goal attempts, including 37-, 31- and 35-yard kicks along with the 39-yard winner.
Following each kick, Hopkins would stumble and crouch to his knee because of the pain. He said after, “I’m aware I was doing it, but it wasn’t a conscious thing. It was just my body doing it.”
In his game-winning follow through, Hopkins fell to the ground as his left leg buckled. His teammates gathered around him to pick him up and celebrate the victory.
“It didn’t matter,” Hopkins said of the distance. “And I don’t mean that like, ‘I could’ve kicked that from wherever.’ That’s not what I mean. It just meant if it was gonna hurt, what’s the difference if it’s 20 or it’s 55, you know? It was just like, well, give it a rip, and that was it.”
After kicking the winning field goal, Hopkins thanked Jesus in his post-win interview. “I just want to say thank you to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I’ve got so much to be thankful for apart from football,” he said in an interview with ESPN.
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