By Jibriel Taha
It has been quite the journey for Colby Parkinson ’20 to notch his first NFL reception.
After foregoing his senior season on the Farm, the tight end was drafted in the fourth round by the Seattle Seahawks in April. In June, he suffered a foot injury in a workout and underwent surgery. This took him out of training camp and put him on the Non-Football Injury list until Oct. 31.
Once off the list, Parkinson was a healthy scratch due to the tight end depth above him, but he has gotten opportunities since first-string tight end Greg Olsen went down. And Sunday afternoon in Seattle, Parkinson recorded his first two NFL receptions, both from backup quarterback Geno Smith in the fourth quarter. Parkinson’s receptions totaled 16 yards as the Seahawks cruised to a 40-3 victory over the winless New York Jets.
The rest of the former Cardinal tight end core also found its way onto the stat sheet Week 14. Dalton Schultz ’18 of the Dallas Cowboys recorded three receptions for 34 yards in a 30-7 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Kaden Smith ’20 of the New York Giants registered a six-yard reception in a 26-7 loss to the Arizona Cardinals and Zach Ertz ’13 of the Philadelphia Eagles picked up two receptions for 8 yards in his team’s 24-21 upset of the New Orleans Saints.
Cleveland Browns tight end Austin Hooper ’17 missed the Browns “Monday Night Football” thriller with the Baltimore Ravens due to a neck injury. His Browns fell 47-42.
On the defensive side of the ball, two AFC East defensive lineman made significant contributions. Henry Anderson ’15 of the Jets recorded five tackles, but it wasn’t enough for the victory as the Jets fell to 0-13. On “Sunday Night Football,” Harrison Phillips ’18 of the Buffalo Bills picked up a season-high four tackles as the Bills handed the once 11-0 Pittsburgh Steelers their second straight loss. Phillips was recently named the Bills’ nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
The former Cardinal linebacking duo of Blake Martinez ’16 of the Giants and Bobby Okereke ’18 of the Indianapolis Colts continued their impressive seasons on Sunday as well. Martinez recorded seven tackles in a Giants loss to the Cardinals, and Okereke picked up six tackles and a pass defended in his return from an ankle injury that kept him out of the last two games. His Colts defeated the Las Vegas Raiders 44-27 on the road to move to 9-4.
In the secondary, safety Justin Reid ’18 of the Houston Texans registered four tackles and a pass defended but the Texans fell 36-7 to the Chicago Bears. The 4-9 Texans are now eliminated from playoff contention. San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman ’10 recorded two tackles in a 23-15 loss to the Washington Football Team; the 49ers are now 5-8 and fell further outside of the playoff picture.
Finally, on special teams, New England Patriots punter Jake Bailey ’19 was put to work in a 24-3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night. The 2019 fifth-round pick was called on to punt on six occasions, placing the ball inside the 20-yard line four times. He recorded a career-long 71 yard punt in the loss.