Buckeyes in the NFL: Week 7
Guest Column by Jacob Allen
This past weekend showcased many Buckeyes proving why Ohio State is one of the best NFL factories in all of college football. From a milestone being passed, double-digit tackle games, and that Buckeye win Saturday, it was a good weekend to be a Buckeye.
Let's get started with Thursday Night Football, where the San Francisco 49ers were pitted against the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers lead the league with four Ohio State players on their roster. Former OSU left tackle Alex Boone has become a staple on the San Francisco offensive line, mowing over defensive linemen much like he did in Columbus. Boone, mostly playing left guard, with a little right guard and the occasional extra lineman mixed in.
He has grabbed much praise recently and has become a nice success story, going from his days of alcoholism to being a starting guard on one of the NFL's best offensive lines.
Safety Donte Whitner tallied 3 tackles, including a nice pop on Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch. Wideout Ted Ginn Jr. continues to only be used exclusively in the return game, but is producing nicely in that area. Ginn had two kickoff returns for 40 yards, and three punt returns, with a long of 38. Linebacker Larry Grant sees constant special teams playing time, but did not register any statistics on Thursday, as San Francisco defeated Seattle 13-7.
Michael Brewster has been receiving some playing time at center and right guard this season, but is listed as the backup on the Jaguars’ official depth chart. Brewster started a few games at right guard earlier this season, but had to watch Sunday as Jacksonville lost to Oakland 26-23.
Linebacker A.J. Hawk recorded five tackles this week, and Ryan Pickett tallied up 3 himself in the Packers 30-20 defeat the Rams in St. Louis. On the other side, James Laurinaitis continued his monster season with 14 tackles – 13 of those being solo. He has 69 stops on the season so far, and is headed for another good one.
Cornerback Antoine Winfield had a big game for Minnesota in a couple different ways. Winfield, now in his 14th season in the NFL, made 11 tackles and a sack. Those 11 stops put him over 1,000 tackles on his career. He now has 1,008. One the other side of the ball, wideout Michael Jenkins caught one ball for 7 yards as the Vikings defeated the Arizona Cardinals 21-14.
Defensive end Will Smith and safety Malcolm Jenkins suited up for the Saints in Sunday's 35-28 win against the Buccaneers, Smith had 2 tackles and a pass deflection while Jenkins led the Saints with 9 tackles.
Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold continues to start and anchor the Jets offensive line, and New York racked up over 400 yards of offense on Sunday but lost to New England, 29-26.
Special teamer extraordinaire Nate Ebner actually saw some time at safety with injuries to New England's secondary. He was on the field for the Patriots’ final stop in over time.
Moving to Sunday Night
Former All-American Mike Nugent knocked down a 48 yarder and two extra points for the Bengals, while offensive tackle Mike Adams saw significant playing time at right tackle for the Steelers. Safety Will Allen stepped in for an Troy Polamalu for the second straight game and held his own once again, notching 2 tackles. Defensive lineman Cameron Heyward showed up on the stat sheet with one tackle, as the Steelers beat the Bengals 24-17, continuing a heartbreaking stretch for Cincinnati sports fans.
On Monday night, Rob Sims started at left guard, where he has been all season, for the Lions. Detroit, however, fell to the Bears 13-7.
Wideout Brian Hartline, linebacker Austin Spitler and safety Kurt Coleman were all on bye weeks this past week.
Some Bad and Good News
One of the worst teams in the NFL just got a little worse. The Panthers put cornerback Chris Gamble on IR, and he will be out for the season with a nagging shoulder injury. Gamble joins former Buckeyes Santonio Holmes and Beanie Wells on the IR this season.
On the good news front, offensive guard Bryant Browning was signed to the Browns practice squad this week. Browning is a Cleveland native and a product of Glenville High School.
As for Buckeyes who could be headed for the big time next year, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins continues to be in the top five of many top mock drafts. There is no doubt he will make the team that drafts him very happy, if he decides to leave after his junior season at Ohio State.
Fellow defensive lineman John Simon is listed as a late 2nd or early 3rd round pick, and the same goes for cornerback Bradley Roby, a redshirt sophomore who might have a decision to make after this season.
That concludes this week, but make sure to tune in to NFL Network at 8:20 p.m. on Thursday to catch Antoine Winfield and Michael Jenkins take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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