WVU in the NFL: Week 6
Former West Virginia cornerback Rasul Douglas and safety Karl Joseph continue to impress through the first half of the 2017 NFL season.
Through six games in his rookie season, Douglas has racked up 15 tackles and two interceptions. One of those interceptions came this past Thursday night as he picked off a tipped pass from Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
Douglas’ interception was a critical turning point in the first half for the Philadelphia Eagles as it set up a key game-tying touchdown near the end of the first half. The Eagles defeated the Panthers 28-23 to move to 5-1 on the year.
Though the Oakland Raiders have fallen to 2-4 on the year, Joseph continues to improve during his sophomore campaign and is shaping up to be one of the top players on the Raiders defense.
In a 17-16 losing effort to the Los Angeles Chargers, Joseph came up with six total tackles. Through six games this season, Joseph is playing the majority of defensive snaps and leads the team in tackles with 42 and has also added a forced fumble and a sack.
Linebacker Najee Goode has seen very limited playing time for the Philadelphia Eagles this season and failed to record a statistic for the fifth straight game. Goode has recorded just one tackle this season.
Los Angeles Rams Wide receiver Tavon Austin saw action in just nine snaps as the team improved to 4-2 with a 27-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Austin had just two carries for no yards.
The speedster scored his first touchdown of the season last week in a 16-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but has struggled so far this season, catching just five passes for 19 yards and carrying the ball 22 times for 108 yards and a touchdown. Austin was also removed from punt returning duties after muffing two punts against the Seahawks last week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Charles Sims didn’t see any carries this week, but did catch four passes for 45 yards as the Buccaneers fell to the Arizona Cardinals 38-33. Sims will continue to take a backseat to Doug Martin in the running game and will be utilized more in the passing game.
Offensive guard Quinton Spain and the Tennessee Titans offensive line paved the way for 168 rushing yards as the Titans ended their 11-game losing streak to the Indianapolis Colts with a 36-22 win to improve to 3-3 on the season.
Carolina Panthers cornerback Daryl Worley had three tackles in the loss to the Eagles. Worley has racked up 16 tackles this season, but saw a drop in playing time against the Eagles, playing just 23 of the 62 defensive snaps.
Oakland Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin had six total tackles and one sack in the loss to the Chargers. He now has 19 tackles and two sacks on the year.
A number of former Mountaineers missed week six due to injury.
Chicago Bears linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski was inactive against the Baltimore Ravens due to a pectoral injury and has only played 23 defensive snaps this season. His status for Sunday’s matchup against the Panthers is unknown.
Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood was out the past two games due to knee swelling, but is feeling better according to head coach Doug Pederson. With the team not playing until Monday night, Smallwood will have a chance to get more examination and rest so that he can hopefully play against the Washington Redskins.
Finally, Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones suffered a back injury last week against the Buffalo Bills, but had a bye week to recover. Jones missed practice yesterday and it’s unclear whether or not he’ll play Sunday as the Bengals hit the road to face the Pittsburgh Steelers.