The NFL has not been kind to some of American Sports Network’s most notable former players in the early going. Just ask Tony Romo. The most recognizable ASN-affiliated player in the league broke his left clavicle (again) against Philadelphia on Sunday, leaving the Cowboys to start backup Brandon Weeden.
Last week, it was Browns’ starting quarterback Josh McCown (Sam Houston State) and Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton (Florida International), who went down with injuries, but neither was as critical as Romo’s. He’s expected to be out about eight weeks.
McCown, who suffered concussion-like symptoms against the Jets in Week 1, gave way to Johnny Manziel for Week 2, but expect McCown back sooner rather than later. And Hilton, who bruised his knee against Buffalo, was back last night, and he caught four passes for 45 yards in a loss to the Jets.
As we recap the week’s 10 most notable happenings for ASN players in the NFL, Romo, of course, tops the list.
1. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Romo isn’t unfamiliar with a broken collarbone – Sunday’s break was his second, the first coming in 2010. Romo, out of Eastern Illinois, was injured with 9:44 remaining in the third quarter when he was sacked by Eagles’ linebacker Jordan Hicks.
“I felt it,” Romo told the media after the game. “It had a little bit of a pop to it. Obviously, I’ve felt it before.”
Before the sack, Romo completed 18 of 27 passes for 195 yards and rushed once for 12 yards. Weeden came in and led the Cowboys to their only offensive touchdown on a 42-yard pass to Terrance Williams in the fourth quarter.
2. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins
ASN’s most prolific running back in Week 2, Morris (Florida Atlantic) became the fifth-leading rusher in Redskins history, surpassing Terry Allen (4,096 yards). During his four years with the Redskins, Morris has amassed 4,142 yards on 919 carries. On Sunday, he had 18 carries for 59 yards in the Redskins victory against the St. Louis Rams. His longest run was for 34 yards. He also had two receptions for 13 yards.
3. Lorenzo Tallaferro, Baltimore Ravens
Tallaferro tied the game against the Raiders at 30 with 7:08 to play when he ran the ball up the middle seven yards for a touchdown. The score was Tallaferro’s first this season. The touchdown capped an 11-play scoring drive during which Tallaferro ran the ball three times. A running back out of Coastal Carolina, Tallaferro carried the ball seven times for 34 yards – the TD run was his longest carry – and also caught three passes for 12 yards in the Ravens 37-34 loss.
4. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
New York’s starting quarterback engineered four scoring drives and passed for two touchdowns as the Jets defeated the Colts, 20-7, in a Monday Night Football game. Fitzpatrick (Harvard) completed 22 of 34 passes for 244 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also carried the ball once for six yards. Fitzpatrick completed a 6-yard pass to Eric Decker at the 6:49 mark of the first quarter for a touchdown and a 15-yard pass to Brandon Marshall at 6:27 of the fourth quarter for his second score.
5. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
While the Ravens lost a heartbreaker to the Raiders, 37-34, Flacco doesn’t deserve all the blame – he completed 32 of 45 passes for 384 yards, including two touchdowns. Flacco (Delaware) did have a chance to be a real hero when the Ravens got the ball back in Oakland territory with 26 seconds to play, but his pass for Steve Smith was intercepted by the Raiders’ Neiko Thorpe and returned 12 yards.
6. Antwon Blake, Pittsburgh Steelers
A fourth-year pro out of UTEP, the cornerback was a force to be reckoned in a 43-18 victory over the 49ers. Blake amassed 10 solo tackles, just one shy of teammate Ryan Shazier’s team-leading 11, and the most of any ASN player during Week 2.
7. Corey Graham, Buffalo Bills
The Bills may not have been able to stop the Patriots, but don’t blame Graham, a veteran safety out of UNH. He did his part, with a team-lead tying six solo tackles complimented by three assists, and a fumble recovery that he returned 29 yards in the second quarter. Unfortunately, the Bills were penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness, negating more than half of the return – and then went three and out on the next possession.
8. Jordan Berry, Pittsburgh Steelers
Berry helped give the Steelers good field position against San Francisco, particularly when he booted a 62-yard punt at the tail end of the third quarter. The second-year pro out of Eastern Kentucky put two of his three punts inside the 20, and his average yardage was 43.7. His first two punts went for 34 and 46 yards.
9. Aaron Dobson, New England Patriots
He didn’t score one of the Patriots’ touchdowns, but Dobson, a third-year wide receiver out of Marshall, had plenty to do with New England moving the ball. Dobson had seven receptions for 87 yards, including a 24-yard reception during a 10-play scoring drive that put the Patriots ahead, 34-13, in the third quarter.
10. Andrew Sendejo, Minnesota Vikings
The fifth-year safety out of Rice had five solo tackles in the Vikings’ 26-16 victory against the Lions. He also recovered a fumble at the Detroit 34 and returned it 28 yards to the Detroit 6 near the start of the third quarter. Unfortunately, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson fumbled on the next play, returning the ball to the Lions.
Giant Rashad Jennings (Liberty) was the Giants short-yardage specialist in a 24-20 loss to the Falcons. Jennings’ longest run was six yards, but he ran the ball nine times. He matched his 12 yards rushing in the air with two receptions, also for 12 yards. … Colts safety Mike Adams (Delaware) had an interception in the second quarter and four tackles (three solo) in a loss to the New York Jets. … Texan Jonathan Grimes (William & Mary) did double duty in a 24-17 loss to the Panthers, catching six passes for 40 yards and running the ball twice for seven yards. … Buccaneer Bobby Rainey (Western Kentucky) did his thing all over the field, catching one pass for eight yards, returning a kickoff for 37 yards and returning three punts for an average of 11.33 yards. … Jets corner Buster Skrine (UT-Chattanooga) had a team-leading eight tackles (seven solo, one assist) vs. the Colts. … Browns linebacker Craig Robertson, a fourth-year pro out of Western Kentucky, had a part in seven tackles – four solo and three assists – in the Browns victory over the Titans. … Lions strong safety James Ihedigbo (UMass) led Detroit with a total of nine tackles, including seven solos. … Seahawks CB Marcus Burley (Delaware) had a team-leading seven tackles in Seattle’s 27-17 loss to Green Bay.