ASN’s NFL Top 10: QBs approach a milestone and a return

Caption:OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York Jets drops back to pass against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter at Coliseum on November 1, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Updated: Roster of ASN’s 274 NFL players

Tony Romo is throwing the football.

That is the biggest news involving an ASN-affiliated player in the NFL for Week 8.

Romo (Eastern Illinois) fractured his left collarbone in a Week 2 game against the Philadelphia Eagles and hasn’t played since. But the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Romo resumed light throwing last week and will be back at practice on a “limited basis” this week.

“We haven’t come up with that plan definitely yet,” Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told the Star-Telegram last week. “We talked about some different ideas. Obviously, you want to get him out there doing something. He has been throwing the ball a little bit lately. He looks good that way. Again, you try to ease him back into it without compromising our preparation with the other guys to get ready for the game. We’ll talk about that more specifically as we get closer to it.”

Romo isn’t expected to play in a game until later in November and the Cowboys are 0-5 without him.

While Romo is healing, Ryan Fitzpatrick left Sunday’s game with a thumb injury that could keep him on the sideline for the longer term. Fitzpatrick’s injury is the most notable news among ASN-affiliated players from the weekend.

He is approaching Sid Luckman’s record for most NFL touchdown passes by an Ivy League quarterback. Luckman (Columbia) threw 137 touchdowns in 12 seasons with the Chicago Bears, a franchise milestone tied on Sunday by Jay Cutler. Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick has 134 touchdown passes in 10 seasons with six teams.


1Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets

Fitzpatrick (Harvard) didn’t finish the Jets first drive after he suffering ligament damage in his left thumb while scrambling with the ball. The injury will require surgery, but head coach Todd Bowles told reporters the procedure could be put off until after the season. He didn’t rule the quarterback out for this Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fitzpatrick’s replacement, Geno Smith, also left Sunday’s 34-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders with an injury, forcing Fitzpatrick back into the game — the Jets’ third-string QB was inactive. Fitzpatrick completed 4 of 5 passes for 46 yards in the loss.


2Charcandrick West, Kansas City Chiefs

West, a second-year pro out of Abilene Christian, built on his success of last week, this time carrying the ball 20 times for 97 yards and a touchdown as well as catching four passes for 25 yards. West’s second-quarter touchdown extended the Chiefs lead against the Detroit Lions to 24-3. Kansas City won the game in London, 45-10. West was starting his second game of the season in place of injured Jamaal Charles.


3Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Brate scored the first touchdown of his career on Sunday, a 20-yard reception from Jameis Winston, in the Bucs’ 23-20 victory against the Atlanta Falcons. Brate’s touchdown came with 35 seconds to play in the first half and gave the Bucs a 13-3 lead. Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Harvard in 2014, Brate spent most of last season on the practice squad before being elevated to the active roster on Nov. 25. On Sunday, he had two receptions for 48 yards, a personal record for yards in a game.


4Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants

Rodgers-Cromartie was a game-changer again this week, as he forced a fumble for the third time this season. This time, teammate Trumaine McBride scooped up the ball and returned is 63 yards to give the Giants a 49-42 lead against the New Orleans Saints. Rodgers-Cromartie (Tennessee State) also snagged his third interception of the season (he had two in Week 7) and was credited with seven tackles in the Giants 52-49 loss.


5Antwon Blake, Pittsburgh Steelers

Blake (UTEP) snagged his second interception of the season and returned it 42 yards in the fourth quarter, but the Pittsburgh Steelers couldn’t convert the pick into a score in a 16-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Blake, a fourth-year cornerback, also led the Steelers in tackles with eight solo tackles.


6Luke Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Third-year tight end (Rice) scored his first touchdown this season on Sunday, when he caught a 22-yard pass from Russell Wilson in Seattle’s 13-12 victory against the Cowboys. Wilson’s score gave the Seahawks a 10-3 lead in the second quarter. Wilson caught two passes for 41 yards, tying his season-best in receptions and setting a personal best for yards in a single game.


7 Josh Norman, Carolina Panthers

Norman broke up a pass inside the red zone halting a Colts drive in the third quarter. The Indianapolis Colts were forced to punt and two plays later, Carolina scored to open a 17-6 lead. Norman (Coastal Carolina) broke up two passes in the game, bringing his season total to 12. He was also credited with four tackles in the Panthers’ 29-26 Monday night victory.


8Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Flacco (Delaware) led the Ravens to their second victory in the first half of the season, slipping by the San Diego Chargers, 29-26. Flacco didn’t have a turnover while completing 25 of 37 passes for 319 yards and a touchdown. He also carried the ball four times and scrambled for a touchdown. Flacco connected with Crockett Gilmore late in the second quarter for the Ravens first score of the game and he rushed up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown early at the 4:37 mark of the third quarter. He also recovered a fumble.


9Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns

McCown (Sam Houston State) completed 18 of 34 passes for 211 yards and a season’s best three touchdowns in the Browns’ 34-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He passed for touchdowns of 10, 3 and 2 yards in the first half before the Cardinals stifled their offense. Arizona amassed only 86 yards in the second half. McCown also rushed five times for 18 yards and threw one interception.


10Antonio Andrews, Tennessee Titans

Andrews, a second-year pro out of Western Kentucky, had his best game this season in terms of total yards with 82. He caught all three passes intended for him for 18 yards and carried the ball 16 times for 64 yards in the Titans’ 20-6 loss to the Houston Texans.



Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (Miami OH), returned after missing four games with a knee injury but threw three interceptions in a loss to the Bengals. … New England Patriots punter Ryan Allen (Louisiana Tech) had a busy game against the Miami Dolphins, punting six times, including a long of 57 yards. He put four punts inside the 20 and averaged 42.5 yards per punt. … Rookie Bryce Callahan (Rice) had a career-high four tackles in the Chicago Bears’ 23-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. … Cardinals receiver J.J. Nelson (UAB) caught three passes for 70 yards in Arizona’s 34-20 victory against the Browns. … Veteran Tramon Williams (Louisiana Tech) led all Browns defenders with nine tackles against Arizona. … San Francisco safety Jaquiski Tartt (Samford) forced a fumble and had six tackles in the 49ers’ 27-6 loss to the St. Louis Rams. … Justin Perillo (Maine) played in his second game of the season for the Green Bay Packers after being elevated from the practice squad. He caught one pass for six yards in a 29-10 loss to the Denver Broncos. … Safety Mike Adams (Delaware) took part in a team-high eight tackles in the Colts’ loss to the Panthers.

Above: Ryan Fitzpatrick, throwing against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, is approaching the record for most NFL touchdown passes by an Ivy League quarterback. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)


Jill R. Dorson

Jill R. Dorson is a freelance writer based in San Diego.