Alabama Players in the NFL Week 3 Tracker: Derrick Henry Continues Blazing Start to Season
Kristi F. Patick
It's still hard to believe he wasn't a first-round draft pick.
Once again, Derrick Henry was leading the way among former Alabama players during Week 3 of the NFL season.
The Tennessee Titans running back had 26 rushing attempts for 119 yards and two touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon.
Henry, who had 31 attempts in Week 1 and 25 attempts in Week 2, is the fifth running back with at least 25 rushing attempts in each of his team's first three games of a season in NFL history.
He joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Edgerrin James (2002), O.J. Simpson (1975) and Emmitt Smith (1994), along with Arian Foster (2012).
Ridley Aiming for History
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley leads the NFL with four touchdown receptions through two weeks and ties for the league lead with 239 receiving yards.
After recording 130 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions in Week 1 and 109 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions in Week 2, Ridley became the first player since Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (1999) to record at least 100 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions in each of his team’s first two games of a season.
If he can make it three straight and score a touchdown against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, he'll become just the fifth player in NFL history with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown reception in each of his team’s first three games of a season in NFL history.
The other four are Dwight Clark (1982), Jerry Rice (1989), Harrison (1999), Randy Moss (2007).
The latter three are all in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The other probably should be in it.
Cowboys Sign Savion Smith Off Practice Squad
The Cowboys have signed cornerback Saivion Smith from the practice squad and elevated cornerback Deante Burton as well.
Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is expected to miss multiple weeks, according to head coach Mike McCarthy, after hurting his hamstring on special teams last Sunday against Atlanta.
Trevon Diggs is also dealing with a shoulder injury that prevented him from practicing on Wednesday.
Smith is expected to make his NFL debut against the Seahawks on Sunday.
Henry Ruggs III Ruled Out for Raiders-Patriots
First-round draft pick Henry Ruggs III has been ruled out for Sunday's Raiders game with the Patriots due to a hamstring injury.
Ruggs showed up on the injury report yesterday, but was still expected to practice Friday. Earlier in the day, offensive coordinator Greg Olson told reporters that it was only a matter of time before Ruggs and Derek Carr were in sync.
“Again, we see the speed," he said per Raiders.com. "I think it’s just a matter of time between he and Derek to get a chance to hit those full-speed routes together. We’re happy with where he’s at. I know there’s probably frustration out there, ‘Why’s this guy not getting more explosive plays?’ But they’ll come. It’s just time.”
Raiders teammate Josh Jacobs is still considered questionable for the game.
Julio Jones to be Game-Time Decision
Former Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones will be a game-time decision when Atlanta faces Chicago on Sunday.
He's been dealing with a hamstring injury.
Coach Dan Quinn said Friday that Jones would work on the side for practice after missing Wednesday and Thursday. He also noted that Jones has been involved in the Falcons game planning this week.
The concern is that if the injury gets aggravated or worse he could miss numerous weeks.
If he plays, Jones is aiming for his third straight home game with 150-plus receiving yards.
Since 2011, he leads NFL with 12,306 receiving yards.
Cam Robinson Ejected from Dolphins-Jaguars Game
Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson was ejected late in the third quarter of his team's game Thursday night against the Miami Dolphins after making contact with an official.
The foul occurred after Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew fumbled the football on a strip-sack deep in his own territory. Robinson and down judge Danny Short were on the ground after the Dolphins recovered the football. Robinson appeared to shove Short's hand away.
Robinson, the Jaguars' second-round pick from Alabama in 2017, was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and ejected from the contest.
Miami scored five plays later on a Ryan Fitzpatrick run to take a 28-7 lead, and went on to win 31-13.
Cowboys Optimistic Trevor Diggs Will Play Against Seahawks
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs did not practice Wednesday due to a shoulder injury, but head coach Mike McCarthy sounded hopeful the rookie starter could play against Seattle on Sunday.
"He will try to do a little more," McCarthy said before Thursday's practice, when Diggs was listed as a full participant. "Worked with the rehab group yesterday. We may try to work him in individual and then go from there, is the plan.
"His work yesterday, everyone felt good about it, so we need to take the next step today."
The former Alabama cornerback played all 75 defensive snaps in Week 2 against Atlanta but dinged his shoulder. The Cowboys are already depleted at the cornerback position with Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring) likely out for a while and Anthony Brown (ribs) on Reserve/Injured for at least three weeks.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys posted the following on social media, which is interesting in that Diggs wasn't considered the fastest player on the Crimson Tide last season.
Broncos place Mark Barron on IR
Former Alabama All-American Mark Barron was placed on the injured reserve on Wednesday
Barron suffered a hamstring injury during the final practice of training camp and has not appeared in either of the team's two games this season. The Denver Broncos signed Barron in late August to replace Justin Strnad, who was injured during training camp.
He's eligible to return to the active roster after three weeks.
As a safety, Baron was a first-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012. The converted linebacker won't get a chance to play against his former team Sunday.
Week 3 NFL Preview
Have you ever heard of Lamar McHan?
If you're into football history you might have. He was an NFL quarterback for 10 seasons, who threw for 9,449 yards with the Chicago Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Colts, and San Francisco 49ers.
The second-overall selection in the 1954 NFL Draft out of Arkansas was traded to the Packers in May 1959, and started the first six games of the season. With the quarterback having a minor leg injury, and his team in the midst of what would be a five-game losing streak, first-year head coach Vince Lombardi made a change and inserted a former 17th-round draft pick who was in fourth year in the league and hadn't won a game in which he'd played four quarters.
His name was Bart Starr.
Lombardi and Starr went on to win five NFL championships and capture the first two Super Bowls en route to enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Every football season brings adversity.
While 11 teams have started 2-0 this year, tied for the most in NFL history, another 11 teams have opened 0-2.
Five of those 2-0 clubs – the Cardinals, Bears, Raiders, Rams and Steelers – missed the playoffs in 2019. The Cardinals (5-10-1) finished last in the NFC West.
In 15 of the past 17 seasons, at least one NFL team won its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. There have been 48 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” including the 2009 New Orleans Saints and the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles managing to win the Super Bowl.
This season it'll become a little easier to do as the NFL begins a 14-team playoff format, with two additional wild-card teams, one each in AFC and NFC.
While matchups of 2-0 teams, like the Chiefs and Ravens on Monday night, are obviously noteworthy as they can be a preview of the playoffs, watching to see what the 0-2 teams do can be equally as important.
In 2000, Tom Brady was selected with pick No. 199, a compensatory selection in the sixth round, and was initially fourth on the New England depth chart. A year later, he took over for injured start Drew Bledsoe during the Patriots' 0-2 start. They went on to win Super Bowl XXXVI.
Matchup of the Week
We're going for the trenches with the Jets at the Colts. Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams had two sacks and his first career forced fumble last week. He's the only defensive lineman in the league with two sacks and a forced fumble in a single game this season. Who's going to be blocking him a lot on Sunday? Center Ryan Kelly.
This report will be continually updated through Monday's game
NFL Schedule Week 3
Sunday's games (All times CT)
Green Bay at New Orleans, (n)
Kansas City at Baltimore, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Week 3 Notes
• Washington safety Landon Collins had five tackles and an interception last week. He's second among defensive backs in tackles for a loss (28) since 2016.
• Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper is coming off his 20th career 100-yard receiving game.
• Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake had 95 scrimmage yards last week, and in his only game agains the Lions tallied 87 and a touchdown, although it was with the Dolphins in 2018.
• Josh Jacobs is the only AFC running back with 100-plus scrimmage yards in both games this season. He leads the conference with 244 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns.
• Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy leads all AFC rookies with eight catches and is second with 118 receiving yards.
• Titans running back Derrick Henry had 716 scrimmage yards (143.2 per game) & eight touchdowns (7 rush, 1 receiving) during his last five road games. He's had at least 80-plus scrimmage yards 11 straight games, the longest active streak in AFC. Since 2019, he leads NFL with 1,740 rush yards.