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Beavers in the NFL: Week 10

Once a Beaver, always a Beaver. Keep tabs on your favorite former Beaver players who are now on NFL rosters with our weekly look.

Week 10 may not have showcased as many Oregon State players in the active roster, but those in action more than made up for the loss with some big performances. Plus, rookie guard Isaac Seumalo even saw his first extended playing time of the season. We love it when the big guys get to make an impact!

Thursday Night Football was a fairly quiet game but still featured a former player in Stephen Paea, so we will start there. But before we do that, let’s recap which former players are on practice squads or injured reserve.

Practice Squad Players/Injured Reserve Players:

1.    Jordan Poyer - S Cleveland Browns - The Browns placed Poyer on Injured Reserve with a lacerated kidney.

2.    Scott Crichton - DE/DT Minnesota Vikings - Scott Crichton is currently on Injured Reserve.

3.    Kyle Peko - DT Denver Broncos - Kyle Peko is currently on the Broncos practice squad.

4.    Dylan Wynn - DT Cleveland Browns - Dylan Wynn is signed to a reserve/future deal with the Browns.

5.    Obum Gwacham - DE New Orleans Saints - Obum Gwacham is on injured reserve with an undisclosed ailment.

6.    Connor Hamlett - TE Cleveland Browns - Connor Hamlett is on the Browns practice squad.

Beavers on Bye: None

Jacquizz Rodgers - RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Despite practicing in limited fashion all week, Jacquizz Rodgers was inactive against the Bears with a foot injury.

Terron Ward - RB Atlanta Falcons - Missing Tevin Coleman once again, the Falcons kept Terron Ward active on Sunday against the Eagles. Unfortunately, Atlanta couldn’t get much going offensively as they only attempted 13 rushes. To make matters worse, Julio Jones suffered from a surprising case of the dropsies. During this losing effort, Ward only attempted one rush for negative one yard, but he was on the field quite often as a pass blocker and possible receiver. Matt Ryan’s only attempted pass in Ward’s direction was an incompletion after the ball came loose during the tackle.

Sunday’s loss to the Eagles was a much quieter afternoon for Ward as an offensive player. Luckily, he partially made up for the lack of stats with his participation on special teams, both covering kicks and blocking for returners. During these duties, Ward registered an assisted tackle on Wendell Smallwood, a running back for the Eagles.

Andy Levitre - Guard Falcons - As mentioned earlier, the Falcons offense struggled mightily during a 24-15 loss in Philadelphia. The strange thing is that the struggles really only came from dropped passes and failing to reach the first down marker. Sure, the Eagles got some pressure on Matt Ryan, but Brandon Graham and co. only managed two sacks. In reality, Malcolm Jenkins and his secondary mates were the main source of frustration as they kept stopping the Falcons drives with picture perfect tackles before the first down markers. I can’t remember a single broken tackle during this entire game.

One player who performed quite well on Sunday was Andy Levitre. The Falcons guard--who deserves a Pro Bowl--was great once again, keeping Matt Ryan clean and avoiding penalties. The Falcons may have only tallied 11 rushing attempts against the Eagles, but they should have tried so many more. Levitre was opening up big lanes for Devonta Freeman all game. He even led the way downfield on an early halfback screen that was good for a big first down.

Losses are bad, but don’t let the stats fool you. Levitre was great as always.

Johnny Hekker - P LA Rams - Depending on your opinion of exciting football, the Rams and Jets game from Sunday was either the most exhilarating or boring game of all time. Heading into the fourth quarter, the match was tied at six all when Johnny Hekker came in and rocketed a 78-yard beauty to pin the Jets at their own 14-yard line. This booming kick completely flipped the field and prevented the Jets from having good field position.

This is the second week in a row that the Pro Bowl punter has launched a punt more than 70 yards, and it was only one of his many impressive plays. Hekker punted seven times for over 350 yards on Sunday, good for 70 more yards than the Rams offense generated. Four of these punts were downed inside the 20-yard line, pushing Hekker’s total to an NFL-lead 28 on the year.

Sean Mannion - QB LA Rams - Sean Mannion was inactive against the Jets while Jared Goff served as Case Keenum’s backup.

Markus Wheaton - WR Pittsburgh Steelers - Once again, Markus Wheaton was a healthy scratch as the Steelers took on the Cowboys. This was fairly surprising considering that Darrius Heyward-Bey was inactive as well, leaving PIttsburgh’s offense with Antonio Brown, Eli Rogers, and Sammie Coates.

Isaac Seumalo - G Philadelphia Eagles - Isaac Seumalo was active for the second week in a row as the Eagles hosted the Falcons, but the victory over Atlanta was a big deal for the former Beaver as it served as his first extended action. The Eagles offense focused on its rushing attack as a method for slowing down the Falcons and largely succeeded with 208 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Despite not starting or playing extended snaps, Seumalo was a big part of this rushing success as the Eagle often brought him in as an extra lineman on short yardage situations. Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles found lots of room against the Falcons with really only one failure in short yardage.

Seumalo played well in limited action, but he did commit a false start penalty. Ultimately, the five yards didn’t kill the drive, but the big guard probably wishes he could erase the negative play.

Josh Andrews - G Philadelphia Eagles - Josh Andrews was inactive against the Falcons.

Mike Remmers - T  Carolina Panthers - The Panthers may have lost a heartbreaker to the Chiefs, but this was no fault of Mike Remmers. Only a week after playing quite badly against the Rams defensive line, Remmers kept Cam Newton clean and avoided committing any penalties. The only sacks by the Chiefs came against Carolina’s center and right tackle. Remmers played well, opened up some rushing lanes, and avoided any costly penalties. Not too shabby of a performance.

Derek Anderson - QB Carolina Panthers - Derek Anderson wasn’t used on Sunday as Cam Newton stayed healthy all game long.

Steven Nelson - CB Chiefs - One week after making some of the biggest plays on his team, Steven Nelson was solid yet again as the Chiefs topped the Panthers. Nelson mainly covered Kelvin Benjamin while tallying six solo tackles and one pass defensed. Although he should have been credited with two other passes defensed.

Nelson’s first tackle was quite impressive as he sniffed out a bubble screen, fought through two different blocks, and tackled Ted Ginn for a one-yard loss. This was actually one of the two screens to Ginn that Nelson stopped with big solo tackles.

Nelson may not have sealed the victory this week, but he was solid all around during a winning effort. Just as important is the fact that he didn’t commit any penalties or miss any tackles.

D.J. Alexander - LB - Chiefs - During a victory against the Panthers, D.J. Alexander was active on special teams. Alexander fulfilled his normal role as both a blocker and gunner, tallying one total tackle. Unfortunately, the former Beavers linebacker was forced from the game with an injury suffered on a Chiefs punt.

Alexander was down on the field for quite some time, but he recovered and spent the rest of the game roaming the sidelines and cheering on his teammates. Coach Reid said during his media availability that the linebacker had only suffered a stinger, so he should be ready for next week’s match-up with the Buccaneers.

Brandin Cooks - WR - Saints - Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos was slow going for Brandin Cooks, at least in the first half, as he didn’t catch a single pass until midway through the third quarter. Granted, this 37-yarder was a beauty as Cooks badly beat corner Bradley Roby, took a nasty hit from T.J. Ward, and held on to set up a Saints touchdown at the two-yard line.

Cooks second catch of the game was equally exciting as he beat Roby (again) for 29 yards and gave the Saints new life. With only two minutes left, Drew Brees and his offense needed big plays, and Cooks provided just that. The all-star caught a 32-yard touchdown between three defenders to tie the game and set up a game-winning extra point attempt. Unfortunately, the Broncos defense blocked the PAT and returned it for a two-point conversion and the lead.

The Saints may have lost a heartbreaker, but Cooks put them in position to win with three catches for 98 yards and a touchdown.

Stephen Paea - DL Browns - One week after being inactive, Stephen Paea was back on the field for a blowout loss against the Ravens. Totaling one solo and two assisted tackles, Paea was actually on the field more often than normal. The big defensive tackle played fairly well as he pushed the pile and opened up rushing lanes for Danny Shelton and Jamie Collins. Although one of his assisted tackles did come on a goofy play.

Baltimore’s running back Terrance West broke through the left side of the line looking for extra yards, but he ran into a cadre of Browns defenders. As Carl Nassib and his fellow defensive linemen kept West upright and batted for the ball, Paea came running in to help with the tackle. Unfortunately, he simply bounced off the pile in pinball-esque fashion and landed on his belly. At least he got credit for the assist.

2016 continues to be an inconsistent season for the former Beavers defensive tackle. Will he be active next week against the Steelers? Honestly, who knows at this point. The Browns do not make any sense.

Week 11 of the NFL season starts Thursday when the Saints take on the Panthers and Brandin Cooks and Mike Remmers head to primetime. BeaverBlitz will keep you updated as the week progresses. 

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