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Vonn Bell breaks out, Ezekiel Elliott still sidelined in Week 2 of the NFL preseason

Coming off strong Week 1 performances, many Buckeye rookies stayed consistent.

New York Giants v Buffalo Bills Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The NFL rookies out of Ohio State are coming off a very strong Week 1 performance in the preseason, with many players already carving out roles and spots in their team’s 53-man roster. Week 2 didn’t have quite as many Kodak moments for the Buckeyes, but for the most part, they’re still contributing consistently to their new squads.

Several teams had joint practices ahead of their Week 2 matchups, including a Buckeye filled Saints-Texans week, that gifted us with a reunion of Ohio State legends.


A photo posted by James Laurinaitis (@jlaurinaitis) on


Cardale Jones

Two weeks in a row, the rookie quarterback was the first player on the field for warm-ups, and it’s this eager attitude that is adding to his value. The Bills already have their No. 1 and 2 guys set, but Jones is still hoping to solidify his spot and work his way up the depth chart. He went 6-of-12 for 83 yards and an interception against the Giants.

Jalin Marshall

The NFL saw a glimpse of the same Jalin Marshall Buckeye Nation saw hightail it to the practice fields to catch punts in the snow just a few years back. The receiver had a big drop across the middle of the field during his Week 2 campaign, and finished the day with four catches for 37 yards. He’s still virtually a lock to make the final roster with his contributions on special teams too vast to overlook.

Braxton Miller

The quarterback turned receiver is still having a go at defenses. He recorded three catches for 34 yards in his team’s win against the Saints, and is considered a strong candidate to be the WR3 just a few weeks ahead of the regular season.

Michael Thomas

Coming off a showstopping performance in Week 1, Thomas is still one of Drew Brees’ new favorite targets, but didn’t put on quite the same show in Week 2. The wideout only hauled in one catch for five yards in his second contest, but still has comfortable spot with the ones.

He may not have had a one-handed grab during the preseason game, but this snag in practice pretty much makes up for it.

Nick Vannett had one catch for 15 yards for the Seahawks against the Vikings, but left the game following a high-ankle sprain.

Offensive line

Taylor Decker

The stock value of the Buckeye is slowly starting to dip, as a decent training camp performance has led up to two preseason games that failed to highlight the tackles talents. He saw 27 snaps in the Week 2 contest, and still lined up with the first team.

Chase Farris

The lineman saw a dramatic increase in snaps from the first preseason game to the second. The Lions’ starter Geoff Schwartz did not play, leading to Farris almost doubling his playing time in Week 2. He is starting to make the most out of these opportunities and could find a spot on the team’s practice squad at the very least.

Joel Hale

The center didn’t have a good week in practice — losing all of his 1-on-1’s -- leading up to the Buccaneers’ Week 2 preseason game, and saw less snaps than he did in his rookie debut. Hale was brought in to add some depth to the line, but could be an easy roster cut for the team as they get closer to the 53-man roster deadline.


Vonn Bell

The safety had a far better second impression during the preseason, leading the Saints with eight tackles against the Houston Texans — and several former teammates — and even recording a sack. Bell had a lackluster Week 1 performance, but his effort against the Texans more than made up for it.

Darron Lee

The first-pick in the 2016 draft for the Jets saw some playing time with the starters in the Week 2 preseason game against Washington and earned two tackles. Lee saw additional snaps as the coaching staff is trying to get a better idea of the kind of work load the young linebacker could take on this season.

Joshua Perry

With Bosa still holding out, Perry is representing Buckeye Nation in San Diego, and he continued to prove his value to the team in Week 2 against the Cardinals. After Week 1, the rookie noted small nuanced changes to the team’s run defense that needed to be made, and were definitely improved against Arizona. Perry had three tackles in his second taste of NFL action, and continues to contribute on special teams.

Tyvis Powell

The safety is fighting his way onto the Seahawks’ final 53-man roster with his special team abilities. Seattle has been known to keep up to 10 defensive backs and/or safeties, but Powell’s penchant to stand out on special teams is what will nudge him closer to the full-time roster spot. The Buckeye recorded two tackles in his Week 2 performance.

Adolphus Washington

The defensive end has done nothing but increase his value to the Bills defense, and he continued that into Week 2 of the preseason. Following a forced fumble by a teammate, Washington fell on the ball for the turnover. His emergence is perfectly timed with teammate Marcell Dareus — who recently received a four-game suspension — has decided to seek treatment and could miss additional time. Washington gives the team a bit more depth in filling Dareus’ shoes.

Noticeably absent

Eli Apple was sidelined in Week 1 of the preseason with a knee injury against the Dolphins. It wasn’t deemed serious, but despite making the trip to Buffalo with the team, he didn’t see anything playing time in Week 2.

Joey Bosa missed the Chargers second preseason game with no end in sight to the contract negotiations that are keeping the defensive end away from the team. The two sides did take a step in the right direction by communicating with each other again -- after a long bout of silence — with both sides looking for a deal that gets the rookie on the field in 2016.

Ezekiel Elliott has yet to make his rookie debut, having sat out the first two preseason games with a hamstring injury. The team is likely giving Elliott’s legs time to heal completely given the work load they intend to bear him with this season. It’s not worth taking a risk that the running back see the sidelines for an extended period of time.