This week, the former Cardinal in the NFL saw inconsistent highs across the gridiron.
One peak was the resurgence of Andrew Luck ’12, as the quarterback led the Indianapolis Colts to a fourth-quarter 27-24 victory over the previously undefeated Denver Broncos. His resurgence, however, seems to be short-lived, as it was announced Tuesday afternoon that Luck suffered a kidney laceration and abdominal muscle tear during the Broncos game and, though his injuries do not require surgery, he will miss 2-6 weeks.
Prior to Sunday’s game, Luck had been plagued by shoulder and rib injuries since going down Week 3 against the Titans.
Luck wasn’t the only Stanford alum on the Colts who got injured on Sunday: Rookie defensive tackle Henry Anderson ’15 was placed on season-ending injured reserve after hurting his knee. While the specifics of the injury have not been confirmed, initial reports indicate he tore his ACL.
This week, several other Cardinal alumni made progress in their returns from injury. Receiver Ty Montgomery ’15 was in practice but remained inactive for the Packers’ loss to the Carolina Panthers. New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Andrus Peat returned to practice after a Week 6 knee sprain, and Detroit Lions cornerback Alex Carter was active for the first time since being on short-term injured reserve after sustaining an ankle injury during training camp.
In the Colts-Broncos matchup, Henry Anderson notched a solo tackle against the Broncos before needing help off of the field in the third quarter. It was an unfortunate end to a promising rookie season, as Anderson had registered 31 tackles and a sack on the season and was a bright spot on a struggling Colts team.
Nevertheless, it was a better night for the rest of the Cardinal on the Colts. Luck threw 21 receptions for 252 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also managed to gain 34 rushing yards on 6 attempts. After some poor performances in recent weeks, Luck played like his pre-injury self, leading his team against a tough Denver defense.
Colts receiver Griff Whalen ’12 recorded his second-best career performance with 5 receptions for 73 yards – his best yardage this season. Whalen’s offensive role has grown over the course of the season, and he gained 28 yards after completion on Sunday, his most since 2013. Tight end Coby Fleener ’12 also put in a solid performance with 4 receptions for 22 yards.
Elsewhere in the league, former Cardinal made their own contributions. Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz ’13 had one of his better outings this season, catching 5 passes for 44 yards in the Eagles’ 33-27 defeat of the Dallas Cowboys. In a 33-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas ’12 notched 4 tackles (3 solo), and Washington Redskins second-year linebacker Trent Murphy ’14 registered 3 tackles against the New England Patriots in the Redskins’ 27-10 loss.
Next week, several Cardinal will look for playing time after being sidelined with injuries. After being listed as active but not playing this week, Peat will seek his third career start when the Saints face the Redskins next Sunday morning. In Green Bay, the return of wide receiver Davante Adams will probably lighten Ty Montgomery’s workload, but he has the potential to see some snaps as the Packers take on the Lions. On the other side of the ball, Lions cornerback Alex Carter hopes to see his first regular season play in the NFL.
Week 10 expects the return of several Cardinal from injury, and as both the Seahawks and Cardinals — whose rosters each boast two Stanford alumni — return from bye weeks to face off on Sunday night, it looks to be an overall positive week for Stanford players in the NFL.
Contact Olivia Marie Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.