There are more than a dozen former Wildcats active in the NFL, so we’re tracking all the news from Northwestern players across the league. Below, we break down latest from Week 16.
Greg Newsome II misses third week of NFL action
After sitting out Weeks 14 and 15 with a concussion, Cleveland Browns cornerback Greg Newsome II also missed Week 16 due to COVID. According to ESPN, Newsome, a first-round draft pick out of Northwestern, was placed on the Browns’ reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday ahead of their contest against the Green Bay Packers. Newsome will have to clear the league’s concussion protocols as well as its COVID protocols to return to the field this season.
Justin Jackson steps up as Los Angeles Chargers’ starting running back
When the Los Angeles Chargers placed starting running back Austin Ekeler on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, Northwestern graduate Justin Jackson stepped in for the team’s Week 16 game against the Houston Texans. Jackson recorded 11 carries for 64 yards and two touchdowns — his first scores in the league since 2018 — as well as eight receptions for 98 yards. Despite this solid performance, Jackson also gave up a fourth-quarter fumble that contributed to Houston’s 41-29 win over Los Angeles.
Rashawn Slater named Pro Bowl starter
After missing Week 15 due to COVID protocol, Los Angeles Chargers rookie offensive tackle Rashawn Slater was activated off the Los Angeles Chargers’ reserve/COVID-19 list Monday. The former Wildcat received more good news Wednesday when he became one of six Chargers named to the 2022 NFL Pro Bowl. Slater is the first rookie offensive tackle to make the Pro Bowl since 2012, according to The Orange County Register.
Dean Lowry and Tyler Lancaster contribute to Green Bay Packers' success
In the fourth quarter of the Green Bay Packers’ Week 16 matchup against the Cleveland Browns, Packers’ defensive lineman Dean Lowry recorded his fourth sack of the season and the team’s fifth sack of the game. The play generated a season-high sack count for Lowry, whom the Packers chose in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Northwestern. Lowry, along with fellow Packers’ defensive lineman and former Wildcat Tyler Lancaster, have both contributed to Green Bay’s success this season, helping the team clinch the NFC North in a Week 15 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
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New Orleans Saints place quarterback Trevor Siemian on COVID list
The New Orleans Saints placed quarterbacks Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian — a former Northwestern Wildcat — on their reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday. Without their top QBs, the Saints will start rookie quarterback Ian Book against the Miami Dolphins in Week 16’s Monday Night Football, according to ESPN. The game will be Book’s NFL debut, as he was drafted by New Orleans in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame.
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