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Buckeyes in the NFL Week 2: Injuries overshadow standout performances

Former Ohio State players could not escape the rash of injuries that took over the NFL this past weekend.

San Francisco 49ers v New York Jets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Last week it seemed like everything was coming up Ohio State. The Big Ten announced a new fall football season, Wyatt Davis and Shaun Wade decided to return to the program after previously opting out, and then to cap it all off the Buckeyes in the NFL had an absolute field day in Week 1.

This past weekend was not so kind to the former Ohio State players in the league — nor was it really for any star player in the NFL. It was an absolutely brutal Sunday for injuries across the shield. On top of the Buckeye alum who had their seasons cut short, Week 2 saw injuries to RB Cam Akers (ribs, N/A), RB Saquon Barkley (ACL, out for season), QB Drew Lock (sprained AC joint, 2-6 weeks), RB Christian McCaffrey (ankle, “multiple weeks”), WR Courtland Sutton (ACL, out for season) and others.

You have to wonder if the lack of preseason games and altered practice routines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame. In a normal year, the players would have had the slow ramp up to game action over four preseason games to get ready for the grind and intensity of the regular season. Instead, guys jumped right into full-speed action, and after only two games we are already seeing the effects.

Lets check in on the status of the former Buckeyes who went down this weekend...

Injuries

Of course, one of the biggest stories of the day on the injury front was that of San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa.

Bosa went down grabbing his knee early in his team’s 31-13 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday, and would be carted off the field. The former No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft played in all 16 games his rookie season, racking up nine sacks and 16 tackles for loss en route to Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Bosa previously missed the majority of his final season at Ohio State with a core muscle injury, and will now miss the rest of his 2020 campaign with the 49ers.

Another crushing injury of a former Buckeye occurred on Sunday afternoon, as Indianapolis Colts safety Malik Hooker will miss the rest of the season with a torn achilles.

Hooker was one of the best defensive players Ohio State has seen in the secondary in recent memory — and that is saying a lot — but he just can’t stay healthy in the league. While he has been one of the best players in the Colts secondary when on the field, this is now the second major injury Hooker has suffered in his four-year NFL career, previously tearing his ACL and MCL in his rookie season. The former first-round pick is in the final year of his deal in Indianapolis.

Hooker wasn’t the only Buckeye-turned-Colt to go down on Sunday, as wide receiver Parris Campbell also suffered a knee injury in the team’s 28-11 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Like Hooker, Campbell has flashed his incredibly high ceiling in his first two seasons in Indy, but the injuries are beginning to pile up. He played in only seven games his rookie year as he battled hamstring and abdominal injuries as well as a broken hand and foot. Now, this latest knee injury will likely sideline him for an extended period of time.

On top of those guys, Denver Broncos DT Dre’Mont Jones will reportedly miss 4-6 weeks with a PCL strain and a bone bruise in his right knee, while Green Bay Packers center Corey Linsley is expected to be okay after leaving Sunday’s game with a sprained thumb.

Of course, we here at LGHL are wishing all these guys a speedy recovery, and hope they can get healthy and get back on the field as soon as possible. Now, lets move to a more positive note and check out the standout performances by Ohio State alum in Week 2, beginning with the rookies...

Rookies

Remember that Chase Young fella? Yea, he is still pretty good. After just two games played in the league, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft is tied for the league lead with 2.5 sacks on the year. He picked up one sack and two tackles for loss against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2.

After scoring two touchdowns a week ago for the Baltimore Ravens, J.K. Dobbins somewhat peculiarly saw almost no touches in his team’s 33-16 win over the Houston Texans this weekend. However, he did make the most of his limited action, rushing for 48 yards on just two carries and catching one pass for 13 yards.

Jordan Fuller balled out once against for the Los Angeles Rams, playing all 71 defensive snaps in his team’s 37-19 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. The sixth-round pick was the highest-graded defensive player on the Rams, finishing the game with nine tackles as he continues to show other teams they made a mistake by letting him fall so late in the draft.

Rookie Honorable Mentions:

  • Damon Arnette recorded a team-high seven tackles for the Las Vegas Raiders.
  • Malik Harrison played only 11 snaps for the Ravens, recording one solo tackle.
  • DaVon Hamilton assisted on three tackles as he helped the Jacksonville Jaguars hold Derrick Henry to just 44 yards rushing in the Jags’ 20-7 victory.
  • Jeff Okudah struggled mightily in his NFL Debut — which, unfortunately for him, came against Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. He’ll look to bounce back next week against the Arizona Cardinals.
  • Jonah Jackson started at right guard for the Detroit Lions for the second straight week.

Veterans

Denzel Ward kicked things off for former Buckeyes on Thursday night, and had a dominant performance in an otherwise beat up Cleveland Browns secondary. Shadowing A.J. Green for most of the night, Ward did not make things easy for rookie QB Joe Burrow, allowing just two receptions for 14 yards on eight targets and recording four pass breakups.

Young’s offensive counterparts on the Washington Football Team had pretty good days despite the overall team’s ineptitude in their 30-15 loss to the Cardinals. Dwayne Haskins threw for 223 yards and a TD, but was sacked four times behind a pretty abysmal offensive line. Terry McLaurin, on the other hand, had a huge day, catching seven passes for 125 yards and this 24-yard TD.

Ezekiel Elliott had a productive afternoon in his team’s electrifying 40-39 comeback victory against the Atlanta Falcons. Zeke put up 89 yards rushing and a TD and caught six passes for 39 yards as he helped the Dallas Cowboys overcome a 26-7 deficit (and a 39-24 deficit with eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter).

Joey Bosa had a tremendous day against the Kansas City Chiefs, and he would have likely been the MVP of the game if the Los Angeles Chargers could have held on to win in what ultimately became a 23-20 OT loss. The star defensive end registered his first ever sack of Patrick Mahomes, and was credited with a whopping 10 (!!) QB pressures, according to PFF, against one of the best offensive lines in the league.

Other Notables:

  • Michael Thomas did not play for the New Orleans Saints after suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 1. It is not clear when he will be able to return to action.
  • Jerome Baker had six tackles for the Dolphins
  • Vonn Bell registered eight tackles for the Bengals, tied for second-most on the team.
  • Cam Heyward, who registered 0.5 sacks, 1.5 tackles for loss and four QB hits against the Denver Broncos this Sunday, was named the Week 1 Community MVP on Friday for installing his first Little Free Library.
  • Jalyn Holmes had five tackles, one tackle for loss and a pass deflection for the Vikings.
  • Carlos Hyde rushed for 22 yards on five carries and caught two passes for 15 yards for the Seahawks.
  • Malcolm Jenkins recorded seven total tackles with a sack and a PBU for the Saints. His teammate, Marshon Lattimore, also had seven tackles including one for loss.
  • Tyquan Lewis picked up his first sack of the season for the Colts.
  • Curtis Samuel had 39 yards on six touches for the Panthers.
  • John Simon tallied a team-high eight tackles for the Patriots.
  • Taylor Decker, Michael Jordan, Corey Linsley, and Andrew Norwell all started along the offensive line for their respective teams. Jamarco Jones filled in for the Seahawks following an injury to the starting left tackle.