In Week Two of the 2021 NFL season, 12 former Husker football players saw action for their respective teams.
Injuries were the theme of Week Two in the NFL, with notable stars like Steelers outside linebacker TJ Watt, Colts quarterback Carson Wentz and Broncos defensive end Bradley Chubb suffering injuries.
Former Huskers weren’t spared, either.
Giants center Nick Gates, who left Nebraska for the draft in 2018, started the injury trail in the Thursday Night Football game against the Washington Football Team. Gates suffered a brutal lower leg fracture that will keep him out for the season, undergoing surgery the next day. The good news, however, is that Gates is expected to make a full recovery for next season.
The Huskers that stayed healthy made an impact on their teams, and here is a look at their week two performance:
Matt Farniok, Dallas Cowboys, offensive lineman
The Cowboys were able to squeak out a win on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, 20-17. Lineman Matt Farniok was on the field for both of the field goals that Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Omaha alum Greg Zuerlein put through the uprights.
The last field goal by Zuerlein was a 56-yard kick that gave the Cowboys the win. Farniok’s contribution was on special teams, the unit which proved responsible for the Cowboys’ win.
The Cowboys now turn their focus to divisional rival Philadelphia Eagles in a Monday Night Football game with the potential to break a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East. Kickoff is at 7:15 p.m. on ESPN.
Maliek Collins, Houston Texans, defensive tackle
Defensive tackle Maliek Collins had two total tackles, with one of those being a tackle for loss, in a 31-21 loss against the Browns.
Collins logged 38 snaps on defense, nine less than week one, but also added five special team snaps. He was able to double his tackle total and get some pressure on Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield throughout the game.
With starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor out for week three, the Texans will be starting rookie quarterback Davis Mills. Collins and the defense will look to slow down quarterback Sam Darnold and the Carolina Panthers offense in a Thursday night battle at 7:20 p.m. on NFL Network.
Andy Janovich, Cleveland Browns, Fullback
Fullback Andy Janovich and the Browns were able to tame the Texans as they won handily 31-21 for their first win of the year.
After a lackluster first drive for the Browns that ended in a punt, the special teams unit recovered the failed reception of said punt by the Texans, putting the team in a position to score. A couple plays later, on the Texans one-yard line, Janovich took his first of two carries of the afternoon into the end zone for his first score of the year.
After scoring, Janovich went back into his main role of fullback and special teamer, with 11 and 13 snaps at those positions respectively. In his second attempt, Janovich lost a yard on the play, bringing him to a total of zero yards on the day.
Janovich will look to vulture more red zone carries, as the Browns take on the Chicago Bears on Sunday at 12:00 p.m.on Fox.
Ndamukong Suh, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, defensive tackle
In the Buccaneers’ 48-25 win over the Atlanta Falcons, there was a lot to highlight. 44-year-old quarterback Tom Brady threw five touchdowns for the Buccaneers and safety Mike Edwards had two interceptions, both of which were returned for touchdowns in the blowout win.
Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh had an impact in the game as well, finishing his 41 defensive snaps with three total tackles and a sack, as the defense had a field day on the underwhelming Falcons offense.
Suh moved his career total of sacks to 65.5 in 176 games.
The Buccaneers and their red hot defense will take on a fellow undefeated squad in the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at 3:25 p.m. on Fox.