Penn State in the NFL: Week 3
While Penn State legend and fan favorite Saquon Barkley is out for the season with a torn ACL, there has been no shortage of a strong Penn State presence in the NFL, as a total of 38 PSU alumni are on the 2020-2021 season rosters—the most since 2006.
Miles Sanders is beginning to make a name for himself on the Eagles even after being out with a month-long hamstring injury. In a tie 23-23 against the Bengals on Sunday, Sanders had a solid first half averaging 8 yards per carry, but head coach Doug Pederson blamed his absence in the second half on “a little fatigue.”
Pederson described his decision based on the need to “shift gears and go a little different direction,” but that was still not enough to beat the Bengals. Sanders had 22 touches for 107 total yards.
In his third season with the Miami Dolphins, Mike Gesicki is making a huge impact offensively. His one-handed catch against the Bills in Week 2 contributed to his record-breaking game for most receiving yards as a Dolphins tight end.
Gesicki, while continuing to improve his ability to run block and pass protect, had 11 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown in the first two games alone. Jacksonville did a solid job defending him in Week 3, but he still finished the game with a touchdown.
Three Penn State players contributed to a win for the Detroit Lions: Jesse James, Jason Cabinda and Amani Oruwariye. James had three catches, 28 yards, and one touchdown with the help of Cabinda in the backfield. Cabinda, meanwhile, recently made the switch from linebacker to fullback, and he seems to be adjusting quite well. Oruwariye recorded two tackles for the Lions.
Marcus Allen made the switch from safety to inside linebacker during training camp for the Pittsburgh Steelers, which are currently off to a 3-0 start. Allen recorded two tackles for the Steelers this weekend.
Penn State fans are eager to see Yetur Gross-Matos unlock his potential as a Carolina Panther. He recorded two tackles for the Panthers after being under concussion protocol in Week 2.
Gross-Matos is not the only Nittany Lion alumni for the Panthers, as head coach Matt Rhule once played for Penn State, in addition to some coaching experience later on from offensive coordinator Joe Brady and strength coach Jeremy Scott.
Wide receiver Chris Godwin also missed Week 2 due to a concussion and did not make it through Week 3 against the Broncos due to a hamstring injury in the third quarter.
With his playing time, he was able to record five receptions, a total of 64 yards and a touchdown for the Buccaneers, while wide receiver KJ Hamler had three receptions for a total of 30 yards for the Broncos in the same game.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson probably had the best week of any Penn State alum, averaging 12.3 yards per catch against the Falcons for a total of 123 yards, 10 receptions and a touchdown in a 30-26 win for the Bears.
Kathryn Tague is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.