The HBCU NFL rookies got most of the publicity in the preseason. That was not the case when real PT (playing time) began this week.
Tried and true veterans from the HBCU ranks stepped to the front once toe met leather this week. The kickoff of the 2022 season was Thursday that continued with the bulk of the schedule on Sunday.
Seattle’s 17-16 win over Denver and former Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson Monday night wrapped up the opening week action.
HBCU NFL vets shine
Veteran offensive linemen like Terron Armstead (Arkansas-Pine Bluff) of Miami and Tytus Howard (Alabama State) of Houston were their usual reliable selves. Armstead, who spent his first nine seasons in the league with New Orleans, played in 97 percent of the Dolphins’ snaps in their 20-7 win over New England.
Howard was in for all 70 snaps in the Texans’ 20-20 tie with Indianapolis.
The same goes for veteran defenders. Philadelphia defensive tackle Javon Hargrave (South Carolina State) and Grover Stewart (Albany State) of Indianapolis were steady as usual.
Hargrave played more than half (55%) of the Eagles’ defensive snaps in their 38-35 win over Detroit. Stewart was among the Colts’ leaders with five tackles, all solos, and two hits on the quarterback vs. Houston.
Notably absent from play this week was veteran all-pro linebacker Shaquille (formerly Darius) Leonard out of South Carolina State. The Colts decided to hold him out for Sunday’s game. Leonard is recovering from offseason back surgery.
HBCU NFL rooks
Rookies from the HBCU ranks like draftees Cobie Durant (South Carolina State) of the LA Rams and Joshua Williams (Fayetteville State) of the Kansas City Chiefs got the most action.
Durant got in only on special teams in the Rams 31-10 loss to Buffalo Thursday. Williams played 15 snaps on offense and 11 on special teams in the Chiefs’ 44-21 win over Arizona.
Other first-year players on 53-man rosters – Jacksonville’s DeShaan Dixon (Norfolk State), Dallas’s Markquese Bell (Florida A&M) and Chicago’s Ja’Tyre Carter (Southern) – were inactive.
HBCU NFL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
For games of September 8 – 12, 2022
– #90 GROVER STEWART, DT, Indianapolis (6th season, ALBANY STATE) – Started at nose tackle of Colts and had five solo tackles, two for losses and had a QB hit in 20-20 tie with Houston. Stewart was in on 39 defensive plays (56%) and 12 on special teams (38%).
– #12 KHADAREL HODGE, WR, Atlanta (5th season, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M) – Started at wide receiver for Falcons in 27-26 loss to New Orleans. Hodge had three receptions on three targets for 38 yards (12.7 yards per reception) with a long reception of 18 yards. He played 20 offensive snaps (27%) and 20 special teams’ snaps (62%).
– #6 JAMIE GILLAN, P, New York Giants (5th season, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF) – Punted six times for 309 yards, a 51.5-yard average with a 41.2-yard net, with five punts downed inside the 20 and a long punt of 69 yards, in 21-20 win over Tennessee. Gillan was in on eight special teams’ plays (29%).
HBCU NFL OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
– #71 TYTUS HOWARD, OG, Houston (4th season, ALABAMA STATE) – Howard started at right tackle in 20-20 tie with Indianapolis. He played all 70 offensive snaps (100%) and four on special teams (12%). The Texans rushed for 77 yards and passed for 240 yards and two TDs. They gave up three sacks for -18 yards.
– #72 TERRON ARMSTEAD, LT, New Orleans (9th season, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF) – Started for Dolphins in 20-7 win over New England. Miami rushed for 65 yards and passed for 270 yards and one TD and gave up one sack. Armstead was in on 59 (97%) of the offensive snaps.
– #78 TRENT SCOTT, OT, Pittsburgh (5th season, GRAMBLING STATE) – In 23-20 OT win vs. Cincinnati, Scott got in on two plays on offense (3%).
– #69 JA’TYRE CARTER, OL, Chicago (1st season, SOUTHERN) – Carter was inactive in 19-10 win over San Francisco.
– #60 NICK LEVERETT, OL, Tampa Bay (2nd season, NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL) – Did not play in 19-3 win over Dallas.
– #66 JOSHUA MILES, OT, Arizona (4th season, MORGAN STATE) – On August 30, Miles was waived/injured by the Cardinals and placed on injured reserve.
– #14 COBIE DURANT, CB, LA Rams (1st season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – Did not have stats while playing 13 special teams’ snaps (68%) in 31-10 opening-night loss to Buffalo.
– #23 JOSHUA WILLIAMS, CB, Kansas City (1st season, FAYETTEVILLE STATE) – In 44-21 win over Arizona, Williams had one solo tackle while playing 15 plays (23%) on defense and 11 (43%) on special teams.
– # 97 JAVON HARGRAVE, DT, Philadelphia (7th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – Started at defensive tackle for the Eagles in 38-35 win over Detroit and finished with two solo tackles. Hargrave was in on 38 plays (55%) on defense.
– #27 BOBBY PRICE, CB, Detroit (3rd season, NORFOLK STATE) – Did not have a stat in 38-35 loss to Philadelphia. Price was in on 26 special teams’ plays (84%).
– #56 QUINTON BELL, OLB, Atlanta (2nd year, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M) – Bell had one assisted tackle in 27-26 loss to New Orleans. He got in on ten defensive snaps (16%) and 25 snaps on special teams (78%).
– #40 DARRYL JOHNSON, DE, Seattle (4th season, NORTH CAROLINA A&T) – Only played on special teams in the Seahawks 17-16 win over Denver. Did not have a stat in 15 (79%) of his team’s special teams’ plays.
– #33 ANTONIO HAMILTON, CB, Arizona (7th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – On non-football injury list.
– #53 SHAQUILLE LEONARD, LB, Indianapolis (5th season, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE) – Was inactive in 20-20 tie with Houston.
– #41 MARKQUESE BELL, S, Dallas (1st season, FLORIDA A&M) – Was inactive in 19-3 loss to Tampa Bay.
– #47 DE’SHAAN DIXON, DE, Jacksonville (1st season, NORFOLK STATE) – Inactive in 28-22 loss to Washington.
– #23 TRENTON CANNON, RB/KR, Tennessee (5th season, VIRGINIA STATE) – Cannon returned two kickoffs for 33 yards (16.5-yard average). He had a long return of 19 yards in 21-20 loss to the NY Giants. Cannon also had two assisted tackles on special teams. Cannon was in on 21 special teams’ plays (75%).