The 2018 NFL regular season is nearing it’s end, and the numbers of Ohio State alumni active in the league has seen a steady decrease with a host of players sidelined with injuries and others who have bounced from roster-to-roster.
But while the number of Buckeyes in the NFL may have taken a dip, the quality of players coming from OSU continues to improve. This week throughout the league, two different Buckeyes had a pair of sacks each, and a wide receiver sent some gear to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Here’s how former Buckeyes fared in Week 15 of the 2018 NFL regular season:
Buckeyes face fines
For the Eagles, Malcolm Jenkins had some words — mainly saying they should lay off the bottle — for the officiating staff after they botched an early game fumble recovery call and late-game offensive pass interference call, and was dinged with with a $12,500 fine for his comments.
Ever the good sport, Jenkins pointed fans who were looking to contribute to his fine to his charity instead.
.@Eagles fans I appreciate all of the support. I don’t need Gofundme pages and all that. But if you wanna help let’s raise DOUBLE what I was fined by the @nfl for my charity! @TheMJFoundation DONTATE HERE: https://t.co/YUjOepaAgK #FlyEaglesFly #Givingback— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) December 15, 2018
For Dallas, running back Ezekiel Elliott became the first player to be fined under the new helmet rule after lowing his head against Eagles defender Corey Graham. Zeke was fined $26,739 for the act, but he is planning to appeal.
Cowboys shut out in Week 15
Dallas lost on Sunday against the Colts, and were actually kept scoreless in their 23-0 loss. During the contest, Elliott had 18 carries for 87 yards, and seven receptions for 41 yards, but no touchdowns. Teammates, and fellow Buckeyes, Rod Smith had three carries for 14 yards, and Noah Brown had one catch for 14.
“We can’t go out there and do that. We cannot. That is not us, at all,” Elliott said after the defeat. “It’s embarrassing. We’ve got to be better than that, way better.”
Bengals break losing streak
Cincinnati (Sam Hubbard, Billy Price) broke a five game losing streak on Sunday against the Raiders (Gareon Conley, Johnathan Hankins), winning 30-16. Defensive end Sam Hubbard had a heck of a game in his hometown, finishing the day with two total tackles, 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble.
During the game, CB Gareon Conley went up to defend a pass and came down hard on his back, with his heading hitting the ground. He laid in pain for a bit after the impact and was eventually ruled out with a concussion. Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins had three total tackles for the Raiders on Sunday.
- Lots of Buckeyes will compete in Week 15’s Monday Night Football when the New Orleans Saints (Eli Apple, Vonn Bell, Kurt Coleman, Marshon Lattimore, Michael Thomas) take on the Carolina Panthers (Curtis Samuel).
- Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee Cameron Heyward had four tackles for the Steelers in their win over the Patriots on Sunday.
- The Dolphins were not able to capitalize on the momentum coming off their big trick-play win against the Patriots last week, and instead came crashing back down to Earth in a 41-17 loss to the Vikings. Buckeye linebackers, however, had decent games, with Raekwon McMillan making six total tackles with one pass breakup, along with Jerome Baker’s five total tackles.
- Things got ugly for the Broncos against the Browns on Saturday night, and along with losing to the team from Cleveland for the first time since 1990, Buckeye CB Bradley Roby left a little banged up. He finished the game with five total tackles — and five stitches in his face.
CB Bradley Roby missed 14 snaps (playing 53 of 67) with his cut-up mouth that took 5 stitches in-game. Broncos had just one CB (Tramaine Brock) during Browns game-winning TD drive in fourth quarter. Brock played 62 snaps (93%). #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) December 16, 2018
Play of the Week
After spending much of his rookie season on IR, Tyquan Lewis finally had his breakout performance in Week 15, claiming not only his first, but his second career sack against the Cowboys. The Colts were excited about the rookie’s performance, which also included four tackles in addition to the punishment he put on Dak Prescott.
Injuries and Inactives
- Denzel Ward missed his second game in a row for the Browns as he continues to go through the concussion protocol.
- The Jaguars have made their choice and running back Carlos Hyde is not it; the Buckeye was a healthy scratch for the team in Week 15, and will likely be looking for somewhere else to play in the offseason — but, he’s only 28, so there should definitely be a market.