Huskers in the NFL

COVID-19 schedule shuffling has begun in the NFL. It has affected plenty of former Huskers, including New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead, Tennessee Titans linebacker Will Compton and New York Jets cornerback Lamar Jackson. 

You can find a full rundown of all the NFL schedule changes to this point here.

This is a fluid situation and it will continue to be so through the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs. Until then, the NFL will continue to bulldoze through games until it can’t any longer.

In the meantime, several former Huskers were able to see the field in Week 5. Let’s see how they fared in another edition of Huskers in the NFL.

Lavonte David, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Linebacker Lavonte David had five tackles in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 20-19 loss to the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football. 

David is a captain on the team and as a linebacker and one of the leaders of Tampa Bay’s defensive unit has been called the quarterback of the defense. At 30 years old, he’s still playing at a high level, but when his stats do start to decline, he will continue to provide invaluable leadership and experience for the playoff-bound team. 

Next, the Buccaneers will match up against the undefeated Green Bay Packers on Sunday at 3:25 p.m. on FOX. 

Andy Janovich, FB, Cleveland Browns

Fullback Andy Janovich had one tackle and two carries for 4 yards in the Cleveland Browns’ 32-23 win over the Indianapolis Colts. 

The Browns are now 4-1 for the first time since 1994, when Bill Belichick was their head coach. 

While Janovich isn’t the most prominent player in the Browns’ hot start, he is contributing to the best rushing attack in the NFL and a possible historic year for the much-maligned franchise.  

Next up, Cleveland will face its undefeated division rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at noon on CBS. 

Nathan Gerry, LB, Philadelphia Eagles

Linebacker Nathan Gerry had seven tackles in the Philadelphia Eagles’ 38-29 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Gerry has seen an increase in production across his first five games this season compared to last. In 16 games and 12 starts last year, he had 78 tackles and four tackles for loss. This year, he has 40 tackles, including three for a loss, in five starts. 

However, Gerry struggled in coverage again. He was no match for defending San Francisco tight end George Kittle in Week 4, and was burned repeatedly by Pittsburgh rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool in Week 5. Gerry conceded 110 yards and three receiving touchdowns to Claypool on seven receptions. Claypool added a touchdown on the ground in the Steelers’ victory.

Gerry will look to finally right the ship when the Eagles will host the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6 on Sunday at noon on CBS. 

Ndamukong Suh, DT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh had three tackles, one pass defended and one quarterback hit in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 20-19 loss to the Chicago Bears. 

The largest play to impact Suh against the Bears wasn’t a sack, blown blocking assignment, interception or big hit. Instead, it was an injury.

With 1:39 remaining in the game, defensive tackle Vita Vea suffered a fracture to his right ankle and leg that will cost him the rest of the 2020 season.

Suh had been splitting time with Vea and Rakeem Nunez-Roches at defensive tackle. Vea had played in more 55% of the Bucs defensive snaps this season, and Suh will have to step up to fill that void. 

The 11-year veteran should be up to the challenge, but the demands of a higher snap count could wear down the former Pro Bowler. 

Suh will have to step up even more if he wants to help David and the Tampa Bay defense take down the Packers on Sunday.

Prince Amukamara, CB, Arizona Cardinals

Cornerback Prince Amukamara was signed to the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad on Oct. 13 and he may be elevated to the active roster in the coming weeks.

Amukamara was a first-round selection to the New York Giants in 2011 and was with the team until 2015. After spending the 2016 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, he spent three seasons with the Chicago Bears.

Amukamara, who is now 30 years old, has played 113 games in his career, accumulating 477 tackles, 78 passes defended and 10 interceptions. 

Next up for the Arizona Cardinals will be the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football.

sports@dailynebraskan.com