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Former Georgia Bulldogs in the NFL - Week 11

Bittersweet weekend for the Sunday Dawgs as Todd Gurley flirts with getting back on track, Malcolm Mitchell makes an appearance, Matthew Stafford keeps the Lions in the playoff hunt but unfortunately A.J. Green and Leonard Floyd leave their games injured.

Within the first minute of the Bengals’ home game against the Bills, A.J. Green was tackled by a defender on an incomplete pass and immediately grabbed his leg writhing in pain. Green sustained a severe hamstring injury that forced the receiver in a career year onto a cart into the locker room and out of the game.

The initial prognosis was not good, as many believed Green tore his hamstring and would be out for the season.

Green was only 36 yards shy of becoming only the second receiver alongside Randy Moss to reach 1,000 yards in each of their first six seasons. But reports on Monday from head coach Marvin Lewis were more encouraging as he ruled out Green for this week, but did not rule him out for the following week.

As one former UGA receiver faded from the scene temporarily, another receiver took the stage with his first career touchdown. Rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell found the end zone for the first time in his nascent career. 

Mitchell battled a dislocated elbow in the preseason, and in a crowded receiving corp in New England hasn’t had many opportunities to shine this year. This past Sunday in San Francisco was by far the most impactful game, catching a season-high four catches for 98 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. This season Mitchell has reeled in 11 receptions for 193 yards, but this game could be a sign of things to come for the rookie in the coming weeks and playoffs.

Mitchell’s former teammate and fellow rookie, Leonard Floyd, had a very concerning injury that had everyone watching Sunday football worried for the rookie sack leader. The ninth overall draft pick was carted off on a stretcher motionless after he was hit on the top of the head and his neck was compressed. He was taken to a local hospital from MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, but after the game, it was reported that he was released from the hospital.

In Monday’s press conference, head coach John Fox gave an update on Floyd’s injury, saying he was only dealing with a stiff neck and had entered the league’s concussion protocol. His status for this weekend’s game is officially listed as “questionable,” but it would be surprising if he suited up.

Ram’s running back Todd Gurley finally looked like his old self this past Sunday against the Dolphins, getting his second-highest rushing total of the season, 76 yards, and his first touchdown in the last five games on his longest rush of the season. The Rams started their number one overall pick from last year’s draft, Jared Goff, for the first time this season. As the Goff era got under way, the Dolphins defense respected his ability to pass, opening up Gurley’s running lanes, and he capitalized on the opportunity.

As the game went on, the Dolphins realized that the Rams weren’t opening up the playbook entirely for the new signal caller, and the offense was identical to Case Keenum’s production, which meant Gurley’s hot start cooled off. This week, the Rams will travel to New Orleans to face the Saints’ and their 14th ranked rush defense.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before – with the Lions trailing 19-16 headed into the fourth quarter, Matthew Stafford put together a drive for the go-ahead score. While most weeks the Lions have depended on Stafford to put together his fourth quarter drive in the final minutes, he got his job done earlier, leading the Lions down the field and into the lead at 23-19 with a handoff to the tight end Eric Ebron at the 10-minute mark. Later in the fourth with two and a half minutes left, the Lions were two yards short of the first down marker on third down and it seemed as though the Jaguars would be getting the ball back with a chance to win the game. Instead of punting, the Lions lined up on fourth down with the intention of going for it, but Stafford used a voice inflection in his cadence that drew the Jaguars offside. The false start kept the drive alive and after moving into field goal range, the Lions kicked a field goal to go up seven with 22 seconds left in the game. After the game, Stafford said he picked up on the Jaguars trend to jump on the voice inflection while watching film. The gunslinger is now transitioning into a whiley veteran as his MVP talk heats up. This week, the Lions will be playing their annual Thanksgiving game on Thursday against the Minnesota Vikings at noon – the division lead in the NFC North is on the line with only five games left in the regular season.  

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