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Stanford in the NFL: Cardinal alumni quiet in Week 12

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In what was a quiet, injury-affected week for Stanford alumni in the NFL, offensive and defensive contributions came in small dosages but from many faces. Other than the physically imposing Cardinal lineman corps in the NFL, Stanford alumni represented mostly through the air, with a number of different ex-Cardinal recording receptions.

In the receiving ranks, Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin caught seven passes while leading the team in receptions but only gained 34 yards as the Seattle offense struggled in the team’s 14-5 loss to Tampa Bay.

At the tight end position, New Orleans’ Coby Fleener hauled in four catches for 59 yards, helping his Saints offense steamroll a usually stout Rams defense in New Orleans’ 49-21 rout. Falcons tight ends Levine Toilolo and Austin Hooper split time with 57 percent and 47 percent of offensive snaps, catching one pass for 18 yards and two passes for eight yards, respectively, in Atlanta’s 38-19 home victory over Arizona. Bengals fullback/tight end Ryan Hewitt reeled in one of his two targets for a five-yard gain as Cincinnati fell to Baltimore 19-14. The catch was Hewitt’s first of the season.

In Monday night’s showdown at Lincoln Financial Field, Eagles tight end Zach Ertz reeled in half of his six targets for 36 yards, suffering with the rest of Philadelphia’s offense on the night. On the other side, Packers’ do-it-all weapon Ty Montgomery caught two passes for 12 yards, added one rush for two yards and returned a kick for 18 yards in Green Bay’s 27-13 win over the Eagles on Monday Night Football.

Up front in the trenches, Steelers guard David DeCastro, 49ers guard Joshua Garnett and Saints guard Andrus Peat played every single one of their respective teams’ offensive snaps in last week’s action. Meanwhile, Patriots versatile lineman Cameron Fleming featured in a number of offensive snaps en route to New England’s win over the Jets.

DeCastro has started all 11 of Pittsburgh’s games this year and Peat has started all 10 games for the Saints for which he has been healthy and available. Garnett has now started the last six games for the 49ers, while Fleming has seen time in all 11 of the Patriots games, starting four.

On the defensive side of things, Browns safety Ed Reynolds logged five total tackles in yet another Cleveland loss, this time at home to the Giants, 27-13. The game marked his fourth in a row with five or more tackles. Jordan Richards, Reynolds’ fellow safety at Stanford, made the most of his special teams snaps for the New England Patriots, recording one tackle, his third on the year.

Staying in the secondary, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman registered two tackles, but was beaten over the top for a 23-yard touchdown by Buccaneers wideout Mike Evans in the first quarter, extending the Tampa Bay lead to 14-0 in what would turn into a defensive showdown the rest of the way, giving the Bucs a 14-5 victory.

On the defensive front, Colts tackles David Parry and Henry Anderson registered four and two tackles, respectively, in Indianapolis’ 28-7 loss to Pittsburgh. For Anderson, the tackles represented his third and fourth tackles of the season. Parry now has 33 tackles on the year.

Arizona defensive end Josh Mauro made two tackles, including one tackle for loss, in the Cardinals’ 38-19 loss to Atlanta. Redskins defensive end/outside linebacker Trent Murphy also made two tackles this week, but Washington still fell short to the surging 10-1 Cowboys by the score of 31-26 on Thanksgiving Day.

Finally, 49ers linebacker Shayne Skov yet again capitalized on limited playing time, assisting on a tackle over just 14 snaps in San Francisco’s 31-24 loss to Miami.

The most notable of injured Stanford alumni include Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Packers linebacker Blake Martinez. Luck sat out this week due to a concussion and Martinez was kept on the sidelines with a sprained MCL. Luck is expected to be back for the Colts tilt against the Jets this upcoming Monday, while Martinez’s return timetable is less certain.

 

Contact Jamie MacFarlane at jamiemac ‘at’ stanford.edu.