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Huskers in the NFL Week 1

How each Former Husker did during opening week

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With Nebraska not playing (yet) and there really not being any great college football games as of now, Huskers fans have to turn their attention somewhere else. That place may be the NFL where Huskers fans have always been loyal to former Huskers as they have followed their careers since leaving Lincoln. Each week I’ll take a look at how each of the former Huskers did in their NFL games while also highlighting the performer of the week.

Top Husker Performer

Lavonte David, Tampa Bay

Per usual, Lavonte David continues to make plays for the Bucs and Sunday was no different. Against the Saints not only did David lead the Buccaneers with 11 tackles but his two tackles for loss came at a crucial time in the 3rd quarter as the Bucs needed a big stop to stay in the game. Despite his constantly good play, Lavonte Davind continues to be one of the most underrated players in the NFL.

Had a Good Day

Nathan Gerry, Philadelphia

The move to linebacker continues to pay dividends for Gerry’s career as he has earned a starting role on the Eagles and is thriving doing so. Against the Washington Football Team, Gerry was the Eagles top tackler finishing with 10 combined tackles including two tackles for loss. The Eagles may not have won the game, but Gerry continues to shine in Jim Schwartz’s defense.

Richie Incognito, Las Vegas

The Raiders offense finished with over 330 yards and 34 points on Sunday and a big part of that was because of their offensive line. At left guard Incognito continues to play at a high level and he was instrumental in opening holes for Josh Jacobs who finished with 93 rushing yards and three touchdowns. But what makes this even better is the Raiders were able to run the ball at the end of the game as they were trying to run out the clock.

Sam Koch, Baltimore

Being the punter for a team with an explosive offense that scores a lot of points is really going to limit your opportunities but as always Sam Koch shows why he is one of the best in the game sending two of his three punts inside the 20 and having a long of 49 yards. Punting isn’t sexy, but there is a reason why Koch continues to have a job in the NFL.

Alex Lewis, New York Jets

As the starting left guard for the Jets it was a mixed bag for Alex Lewis. He didn’t give up any sacks or have any penalties and finished with an 82.9 overall grade Pro Football Focus. But Lewis was also a part of an offense that rushed for under 100 yards and had less than 300 total yards. That is the thing with offensive linemen, one player has a great game but you need the entire unit to play well.

Minimal Impact

Rex Burkhead, New England

Being a running back in New England is always tough as they will use three to four running backs a game. Burkhead did finish with seven carries for 32 yards which was third best behind Cam Newton and Sony Michel. In the first half Burkhead had some nieces runs off of zone read looks, but as a backup his touches are always going to be limited.

Maliek Collins, Las Vegas

After coming over with a good sized contract and being named a team captain, there is a lot expected out of Collins this year. The 2020 season didn’t start out great for Collins as he had a rough game where the Raiders defense got pushed around and Collins was only able to finish with a couple of tackles.

Andy Janovich, Cleveland

Against the Ravens it was thought that Cleveland may employ Janovich quite a bit to get their running game going and control the clock against the Ravens in an effort to keep Lamar Jackson off the field. Instead Janovich barely saw the field only playing on 12% of the Browns offensive snaps. Getting behind likely was the case here. The fact that they signed him for a three year deal means they have big plans for him, so credit game flow for his lack of contribution here.

Ndamukong Suh, Tampa Bay

At one point the Suh was one of the more dominant defensive tackles in the NFL, but those days are over and Suh just seems to be just a solid run defensive tackle for the Bucs. That was no more evident on Sunday as Suh finished with just one tackle in a game where the Saints scored 34 points and provided little to no pass rush.

Nick Gates, New York Giants

While Gates was a multiyear starter at left tackle for the Huskers and spent his rookie season as the swing tackle for the Giants, Gates has moved inside and is now the Giants starter at center. While Gates has some potential to develop into a solid starter he along with the rest of the Giants offensive line struggled against the Steelers. Whether it was not being able to spring Saquan Barkley or missing blockers in the passing game, the play of the offensive line really caused the Giants offense to struggle throughout the night.

Will Compton, Tennessee

As a backup linebacker Compton played about half of the game and was able to make three tackles helping the Titans end the drives and forcing the Broncos to punt. Not a spectacular game, but for a backup Compton was able to do his job.

No Impact

Ameer Abdullah, Minnesota

Having an elite back like Dalvin Cook and a high quality backup in Alexander Mattison on the roster it will always be tough for Abdullah to get touches. That was the case against the Packers as Abdullah didn’t get a single snap on offense but did see action on the special teams units.

Joshua Kalu, Tennessee

Joshua Kalu only got three defensive snaps against the Broncos and did force a fumble against Jerry Jeudy but the ball went out of bounds and was after Jeudy picked up 25 yards on the catch. Otherwise Kalu spent a majority of his snaps on special teams coverage units.

Cethan Carter, Cincinnati

As the third tight end for the Bengals it will be hard to get much playing time and Carter only saw one snap on offense while filling in a variety of roles on special teams. Carter has worked his way up onto the active roster and is seeing himself active on game days.

Inactive or Non Participant

Luke Gifford, Dallas

Being listed as one of the inactives it was a quiet night for Gifford, but that is likely to change as starting linebacker Leighton Vander Esch was put on injured reserve with a broken collar bone. As the primary backup to Vander Esch we should see Gifford active on a regular basis as he battles with Joe Thomas (who was the active backup linebacker) for snaps next to Jaylon Smith.

Randy Gregory, Dallas

Gregory is getting another chance to play in the NFL as Roger Goodell has reinstated the former second round pick. Gregory but won’t be eligible till Week 7 as a part of the reacclimation process. Dallas still has high hopes for the former second round pick giving him a one year extension through the 2021 season.

OL Brent Qvale, Houston

In the Texans opening night game against the Chiefs, Qvale was active for the game but did not see any action either on offense or on special teams.

Khalil Davis, Tampa Bay

Davis was not active for the Buccaneers game against the Saints. Playing on an experienced defensive line it will be tough for Davis to crack the rotation and be active on game days. But if he’s able to to show continued development he should get a chance at some point if there is an injury.

Carlos Davis, Pittsburgh

Much like his brother, Carlos was inactive for the Monday Night Football game against the Giants. While it would have been fun to see Davis battle against another former Husker in Nick Gates, it’s going to be hard to break into the rotation for Davis as the Steelers have a talented veteran group of defensive lineman.

Practice Squad or Injured Reserve

Freedom Akinmoladun, Cincinnati

Darrion Daniels, San Francisco

Lamar Jackson, New York Jets

Chris Jones, Arizona

Stanley Morgan, Cincinnati

Devine Ozigbo, Jacksonville IR