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Former Ohio State players in the NFL feast on Thanksgiving Day

Plus, one Buckeye was placed on IR and another is back in a big, big way.

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Before the Ohio State Buckeyes continued their tradition of beating up on that team up North, several former players suited up for an NFL Thanksgiving tradition. From Ezekiel Elliott once again playing with the Salvation Army’s donation kettle, to Eli Apple becoming a weekend-favorite meme, it was a good day for Buckeyes in the NFL.

Here’s how the rest of the OSU alumni showed out in Week 12:

Thanksgiving Day Tradition

Chicago Bears, 23 @ Detroit Lions, 16

Even from the jump it was going to be a challenging day for Lions’ left tackle Taylor Decker, particularly with Kalil Mack lining up against him for the Bears. Detroit’s coaches did what they could to bring in some help for that matchup, and Decker was able to create some holes for the few points the team put up on Thanksgiving.

LeGarrette Blount scored on a 4-yard run when Decker pinned Irving inside and the powerful Lions running back ran through strong safety Adrian Amos’ attempted tackle.”
Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune

Washington, 23 @ Dallas Cowboys, 31

There aren’t any Buckeyes currently suiting up in Washington, but the three offensive targets in Dallas has some notable moments. Second-year receiver Noah Brown is back from IR and had one catch on two targets for 22 yards, and running back Rod Smith had two carries for seven yards during the NFC East matchup.

Ezekiel Elliott continued to dominate for the Cowboys with almost 150 total yards of offense on the day, including 26 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown, and going 5-of-6 receptions for 22 yards. That performance also put him over 1,000 yards on the season.

Atlanta Falcons, 17 @ New Orleans Saints, 31

Usually, when we’re talking about the Saints, the biggest highlight is receiver Michael Thomas. The Buckeye had four catches for 38 yards in the Saints win over their division rival, but didn’t score and wasn’t as involved in this week’s game plan.

Buckeye defenders in New Orleans, however, absolutely feasted late on Thanksgiving Day. Eli Apple topped the charts with 10 total tackles, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery, with Vonn Bell close behind him with seven total tackles, including one for loss, and his own fumble recovery. Marshon Lattimore had five tackles on the day along with two passes defended, and Kurt Coleman had a pair of tackles himself.

Along with making a name for himself as a shutdown corner in New Orleans — something he never did in New York — he also became a meme after the game, when the tape showed him getting handsy with Julio Jones in the end zone, before turning around and being chased by the Pro Bowl receiver.

And, for good measure, most of his former Buckeye teammates took a moment to enjoy the hilarity.

Bengals put a Buckeye on IR

Aside from an embarrassing loss to the Browns, Cincinnati also had a rough week prior to the game, sending three players to IR, including Buckeye Adolphus Washington. Washington suffered a knee injury against the Saints in Week 9 and hasn’t played since.

Washington, a third-year player who had signed with the Bengals off the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad on Sept. 26, played in four games for the Bengals this season and recorded six tackles, including a sack.”
Rebecca Tobak, Cincy Jungle

Other Buckeyes on IR include: Ted Ginn Jr. (Saints), Jamarco Jones (Seahawks), and Tyquan Lewis (Colts).

Check back next week, as this list could include one or two more Buckeyes (see below for Jeff Heuerman and Andrew Norwell).

Bosa is still a sack-monster

After suffering a foot injury, the Los Angeles Chargers were without Joey Bosa for the first 10 weeks of the season. His official return to the field came in Week 11 with a lackluster loss to the Broncos, and Bosa himself only had one total tackle on the day.

But, if you were thinking that Bosa’s production might take a hit following his injury, you’d be very, very wrong.

On Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, the Buckeye DE was back to his true form, making five total tackles on the day and 2.0 sacks.

Other notables

Miami Dolphins, 24 @ Indianapolis Colts, 27

Dolphin linebackers Raekwon McMillan and Jerome Baker contributed to keeping it close, with McMillan’s seven total tackles and forced fumble and Baker’s three tackles for Miami.

And over on the Indy side, former first-round draft pick Malik Hooker had a pair of tackles on the day.

Pittsburgh Steelers, 17 @ Denver Broncos, 24

This back and forth contest saw some success for former Ohio State players, including Steelers’ DT Cameron Heyward with three total tackles, one pass defended and 0.5 sack on the day.

For the Broncos, tight end Jeff Heuerman has been a lot more involved in recent weeks and had two receptions for 44 yards and a few key blocks throughout the contest. Heuerman ended up leaving the game early with (what appeared to be) a back injury, but it looks like his season may be over thanks to some broken ribs and a bruised lung.

Making matters worse for Heuerman, is that he was playing on the final year of his rookie contract, and with a long list of injuries, and production that leans more toward good-blocker than decent pass-catcher, he might not be someone Denver wants to re-sign. And, in turn, it could be a long free agency for the Buckeye next spring.

CB Bradley Roby had been in concussion protocol, but was back in action against the Steelers and made six total tackles, along with a pass breakup.

Plays of the Week

Malcolm Jenkins

The Eagles haven’t had quite the follow-up season they had hoped for coming off their first Super Bowl win, but Buckeye Malcolm Jenkins has been giving it his all each and every week. That effort continued on Sunday against the Giants, with Jenkins nabbing the team’s first interception since Week 6 against the Giants — along with six total tackles on the day.

Gareon Conley

The Buckeye cornerback has slowly been showing that he’s worth that draft pick last year, and with the trade-happy Raiders front office, Conley has at least been putting out good film for future teams.

At any rate, on Sunday against the Ravens, Conley had two total tackles, but his was extraordinary effort to end the half that was particularly noteworthy — he was able to tip the ball in the endzone, setting his teammate up for the interception.

Injuries, Inactives and Bye Weeks

  • Now that the Vikings have Everson Griffen back, the Buckeye rookie Jalyn Holmes has been back to inactive on game days.
  • Nate Ebner was inactive for the Patriots on Sunday after a knee injury popped up during the week, although specifics of the injury aren’t yet known.