We are officially less than a week and a half away from the start of the Ohio State football season, but while we still have to wait until August 31st to see the 2017 edition of the Scarlet and Gray, we can at least see some of Buckeye Nation’s finest alums prepare for the NFL regular season. Week 2 of the preseason thankfully didn’t see quite as many injuries as the first, with one rookie making his debut and others working their way up the depth chart.
Here’s a look at all the noteworthy Buckeye moments from Week 2 preseason matchups.
Lattimore’s NFL debut and a jersey swap
Rookie CB Marshon Lattimore had to wait a couple of weeks to see the field for his first game as a professional football player, but when he did finally make it onto the field, he saw 17 snaps for the New Orleans Saints. He was disappointed that he wasn’t targeted in his first matchup, but had a decent showing — aside from a juke by Melvin Gorden that left Lattimore on his heels.
Melvin Gordon kindly welcomed Marshon Lattimore to the NFL. #juke pic.twitter.com/wBWyqcEnqN— James Simpson (@JS_Football) August 22, 2017
Lattimore got the start in the Saints’ Week 2 preseason game against the Chargers. Teammate Vonn Bell saw slightly more snaps than his rookie counterpart, and has also seen some action with the special teams unit this preseason. He snagged two tackles on his 23 snaps.
On the offensive side for the Saints were former Buckeye receivers Ted Ginn Jr. and second-year phenom Michael Thomas. Ginn didn’t practice last week and likewise didn’t suit up for the Week 2 contest, although no injury has been disclosed. Thomas is ready to take the role as WR1 this season, and made a big 28-yard grab against the Chargers.
Respect @OhioStateFB #SaintsGameday pic.twitter.com/BrpFOBGTsg— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) August 21, 2017
After the game, former Buckeye teammates Thomas and Joey Bosa exchanged jerseys, in what is likely to be the first of many Ohio State exchanges over the next few weeks. Bosa and Chargers teammate former Buckeye Joshua Perry each claimed one tackle against the Saints, with Perry seeing additional action on special teams.
Chargers QB Cardale Jones is still trying to climb into the No. 2 spot on the depth chart. Despite being put on his back four (!) times (for a loss of 46 yards) in Week 2 of the preseason, Jones went 7-of-15 for 61 yards, and threw one interception.
Colts defense coming together
Former Silver Bullets are coming together in Indianapolis, despite a couple still not seeing game day snaps. Lineman Jack Mewhort hasn’t been suiting up or practicing out of an abundance of caution — the team can’t afford anymore injuries affecting their starting line.
On a positive note, Johnathan Hankins returned to the field this week, his first time seeing the field for the Colts. He saw 31% of the defensive snaps, indicating the size of his workload once the regular season gets underway. Interestingly, safety Tyvis Powell also lined up for 31% of the defensive snaps, while adding 10 special team plays as well. Powell appears to be far more on the bubble as we inch closer to the final 53-man roster cuts.
Likewise, linebacker John Simon is already proving to be a valuable addition. Taking snaps on both defense and special teams, the linebacker had a forced fumble, his second in as many games during the preseason so far this year.
Unfortunately, Malik Hooker’s shoulder is still keeping him sidelined. Colts’ head coach Chuck Pagano has expressed frustration with so many injuries affecting younger players, but that criticism doesn’t extend to Hooker, who underwent offseason surgery and is still working through recovery.
Pagano today also said the hope is S Malik Hooker (shoulder) can get some limited practice reps beginning tomorrow and play Saturday.— Andrew Walker (@AWalkerColts) August 21, 2017
Washington is back making plays
Adolphus Washington has had a pretty rocky offseason, but is back to showing the Bills exactly why they drafted him a year ago. He made a big grab early against the Eagles, when a forced fumble left the ball bouncing on the ground.
Just before this play, Washington was flagged for jumping offsides, giving the Eagles a free first down. It’s safe to say that the Bills, as well as the former Buckeye, were happy to see him bounce back so quickly to right his wrong.
- Niners’ RB Carlos Hyde saw a bit more action in Week 2 of the preseason, carrying the ball eight times for 26 yards.
- Rookie wideout Noah Brown snagged his first touchdown in the NFL, with a 19-yard catch in the endzone. The Buckeye also put a questionable hit on the Colts punter, but what can ya do...
Cooper Rush TD pass to Noah Brown. pic.twitter.com/dWwOeWC4bX— Patrick Conn (@DraftCowboys) August 20, 2017
- Second-year TE Nick Vannett is still trying to inch his way up the depth chart, and has so far started both preseason games for the Seahawks. In Week 2, the Buckeye had one long catch for 32 yards.
- CB Doran Grant is still hoping to hold on to a roster spot with Jacksonville, but for now, he at least provides some entertainment for the team.
That game day feel... #TBvsJAX— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) August 17, 2017
Moves courtesy of @AkronsVO_21 #WinToday pic.twitter.com/tfAP8pKK4q
- Rams’ long snapper Jake McQuaide is playing on the last year of his contract this season, but it doesn’t look like he’s making this any easier for opponents on special teams.
I'd love to point out @RamsNFL longsnapper @JakeMcQuaide has been all over punt returners tonight #LAvsOAK— Ramzi Aquino (@OfficialRamziA) August 20, 2017
- Several Buckeyes were sidelined for their teams’ Week 2 preseason matchups, with the following sitting out: Eli Apple (Giants), Michael Bennett (Jaguars), Braxton Miller (Texans), and Curtis Samuel (Panthers).
- Rookie Gareon Conley still hasn’t made his NFL debut for the Oakland Raiders, but is expected to return to practice this week and finally see his first professional snap Saturday against the Cowboys.
- LB Ryan Shazier likewise didn’t see any preseason snaps for the Steelers, but his lingering hamstring issue isn’t expected to keep him out once regular season starts. He might not have played, but Buckeye Nation showed up in droves to support the Ohio State legend.
The Ohio State Buckeye fans are the best in the world. Our Buckeye Cruise for Cancer Team came to Pittsburgh to support #50. pic.twitter.com/V5YYQv84Bk— Vernon J. Shazier (@VernonShazier) August 21, 2017