It was another good week for Buckeyes in the NFL, with several former Ohio State players making big contributions at the next level. From Carlos Hyde’s big game and even bigger day, to Michael Thomas continuing to prove he’s the GOAT, Week 3 was filled with Buckeye-loving moments.
Several rookies are sidelined due to injury or listed as inactive, but others, like Jerome Baker, are balling out. Baker had nine total tackles on Sunday for the Dolphins, and Sam Hubbard made three tackles for the Bengals.
Malik Hooker might not be a true rookie, but he is in his first year of being healthy and on the field, and he nabbed six total tackles on Sunday for the Colts. Similarly, linebacker Raekwon McMillan is back on the field, lining up alongside Baker for the Dolphins, and made four tackles in Week 3. Gareon Conley is another member of the 2017 draft class that sat out his first season, but he’s back for the Raiders and made two tackles and had a pass breakup over the weekend.
The Cowboys are back to relying on Ezekiel Elliott to carry the team’s offense, and while he had 16 carries for 127 yards, he wasn’t able to make it into the endzone, and Dallas ended up losing to the Seahawks 24-13.
Here’s a look at how other Buckeyes in the NFL fared in Week 3.
Browns vs. J-E-T-S
There was a surprising number of former Buckeyes lined up in the Week 3 “Thursday Night Football” matchup between the Cleveland Browns (Carlos Hyde, Denzel Ward) and the New York Jets (Darren Lee, Terrelle Pryor Sr.).
Things started off pretty exciting for running back Carlos Hyde who was a little late for pre-game warmups as he was at the hospital waiting for his baby to be born. Not only was the Buckeye about to become a dad, but he was also celebrating his birthday on Thursday; he finished the game with 23 carries for 98 yards — and 5 receiving yards — and two touchdowns. Then, early Friday morning, he welcomed his son, Carlos Hyde Jr.
.@elguapo's off to the hospital to welcome his son into the world!— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 21, 2018
So his TD celebration was very appropriate pic.twitter.com/ot1joNFaan
El Guapo wasn’t the only Buckeye for the Browns to have a good game, with Denzel Ward continuing to make an impact week in and week out. The cornerback made four total tackles on Thursday, including a big forced fumble (see below) in an effort to help Cleveland pull off its first win since Christmas Eve 2016.
For the Jets, Terrelle Pryor nabbed just one catch for 25 yards, but linebacker Darren Lee had himself a day with seven total tackles and a pass breakup in the team’s 21-17 loss to the Browns.
The Michael Thomas Show
We’re just going to talk about Michael Thomas every week. He’s forcing our hand by being one of the most electric wide receivers to ever play the game, and crushing records every chance he can.
In Week 3, Thomas had 10 receptions for 129 yards, which adds to his season total of 38 catches and 389 yards through just three games. That is insane. Take a minute to really think about that kind of production, and it makes sense that he’d be unrivaled on the stat sheet.
He now has the most receptions through three games (38) in NFL history, and is on pace to absolutely demolish the current record of 134 catches in a season. Thomas is also the first player in NFL history to record at least 10 catches in each of his team’s first three games to start a season.
It’s obvious why he’s a favorite target of quarterback Drew Brees — just as he has been since he got to New Orleans his rookie season.
Through the first three games of the season, @Cantguardmike has 38 receptions on 40 targets. That's a 95% completion percentage for Brees when targeting Michael Thomas ⚜️ pic.twitter.com/U8af1yrcxs— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) September 23, 2018
The rest of the New Orleans Buckeyes
There are five former Ohio State players suiting up for the Saints, and they each prove to be important contributors.
In the Week 3 overtime win against division foe the Atlanta Falcons, Vonn Bell led the way with five total tackles, with Kurt Coleman and Marshon Lattimore both claiming two takedowns apiece.
Ted Ginn Jr. put up the first points of the day for the Saints with a four-yard catch and run for a score, and finished the day with three catches for 12 yards and a 20-yard run.
Ted Ginn Jr. puts us on the board first with a 4-yard touchdown reception! #NOvsATL pic.twitter.com/BgnvK10Sea— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) September 23, 2018
Some Buckeyes on the move
There is sure to be plenty of movement between the practice squad and active roster for a handful of former Ohio State players in the NFL. Early last week we saw the Saints waive QB J.T. Barrett, only to bring him back on their practice squad the next day.
Safety Tyvis Powell started the season on the 49ers practice squad, but due to some injuries, the Buckeye was pulled up to the active roster. He had plenty of game experience for San Francisco at the end of the 2017 season, and could earn himself a regular spot among the 53-man roster with teammate Richard Sherman leaving Sunday’s game and resurfacing in a walking boot.
Plays of the Week
The No. 4 overall pick continues to pay off for the Browns, who not only snagged their first win since the 2016 season on Thursday night, but were also effective on defense. Denzel Ward finished the game with four total tackles — including a beautiful read in the first few minutes of the game (see below) — and a forced fumble.
Great effort from #Browns CB Denzel Ward to force the fumble here #CLEvsNYJ pic.twitter.com/MPlTHgCTSM— Joel Bishop (@JoelBishopFB) September 21, 2018
And just because, here’s his dominant start to the game:
Denzel Ward said "NO SIR" @denzelward pic.twitter.com/B4DSjrzh9q— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 21, 2018
Injury report and Inactives
- Cornerback Eli Apple was out for the Giants in Week 3 with a groin injury he sustained during last week’s contest.
- Curtis Samuel is still out for the Panthers as he recovers from “minor” heart surgery — he was only expected to miss a couple weeks, so he should make his return in Week 4 or 5.
- Billy Price is out for the Bengals with a foot injury — not ankle — and is wearing a walking boot as he recovers. There is no plan for surgery as he makes a plan for getting back onto the field.
- Similarly, Joey Bosa is still out for the Chargers with a foot injury, but he is getting his cast removed and will be in a walking boot as he tries to make his return in the upcoming weeks.
- DE Jalyn Holmes was a healthy scratch for the Vikings on Sunday.