Spartans in the NFL: An injury-filled season for All-Pro tackle Jack Conklin
Joe Bachie, Cincinnati BengalsBachie saw his largest workload of the season in the Bengals’ 41-10 win over the Steelers. He played 23 defensive plays and 20 special teams plays, recording two tackles in the second half. William Gholston, DL, Tampa Bay BuccaneersGholston had three tackles in the Buccaneers’ win over the Colts, including a tackle for loss in the first quarter. Justin Layne, CB, Pittsburgh SteelersLayne played on 12 special teams plays and made one tackle on a kickoff in the Steelers’ 41-10 loss to the Bengals. Josiah Scott, CB, Philadelphia EaglesScott saw action on seven special teams plays without recording a stat in the Eagles’ 13-7 loss to the Giants.mlive.com
Spartans in the NFL: Malik McDowell continues to impress in comeback season
Joe Bachie, Cincinnati BengalsBachie played 20 specials teams plays while making one tackle in his third game of the season since getting called up from the practice squad. Andrew Dowell, LB, New Orleans SaintsDowell played on 23 special teams plays as the Saints beat the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, 36-27. William Gholston, DL, Tampa Bay BuccaneersGholston played 42 defensive snaps without recording a statistic in the Buccaneers’ loss to the Saints. He made three tackles while playing 16 defensive plays and 13 special teams plays, marking the first time this year that Scott has gotten time with the Eagles’ defense since returning from injury. Cody White, WR, Pittsburgh SteelersWhite saw action on just three special teams plays in the Steelers’ win over the Browns.mlive.com
Spartans in the NFL: Khari Willis records second interception of season
William Gholston, DL, Tampa Bay BuccaneersGholston played 34 defensive snaps in Tampa Bay’s 38-3 win over Chicago. Malik McDowell, DT, Cleveland BrownsMcDowell had three tackles in the Browns’ 17-14 win over the Broncos. Josiah Scott, CB, Philadelphia EaglesScott played on 19 special teams plays in the Eagles’ loss to the Raiders. Khari Willis, S, Indianapolis ColtsWillis helped seal the game in the Colts’ 30-18 win over the 49ers, when he intercepted Jimmy Garoppolo with two minutes left. The interception, the second of the season for Willis, came along with six tackles and a pass deflection.mlive.com
Spartans in the NFL: Le’Veon Bell finds the end zone for the first time since 2019
Le’Veon Bell, Baltimore RavensBell scored his first touchdown since 2019, when he scored from two yards out early in the second quarter in Baltimore’s 34-6 win over the Chargers. Bell had eight carries for 18 yards, marking his largest workload since he joined the Ravens this season. Justin Layne, CB, Pittsburgh SteelersLayne played 21 special teams snaps in the Steelers’ overtime win over the Seahawks, recording one tackle. Malik McDowell, DT, Cleveland BrownsMcDowell recorded two total tackles, one of which was a tackle for loss, in the Browns’ loss to the Cardinals. Josiah Scott, CB, Philadelphia EaglesScott played on 14 special teams plays in the Eagles’ Thursday night loss to the Buccaneers.mlive.com
Spartans in the NFL: Kirk Cousins leads game-winning drive against home-state Lions
Jack Conklin, OT, Cleveland BrownsConklin left Sunday’s game during the fourth quarter and didn’t return due to a knee injury. Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota VikingsCousins went 25-for-34 for 275 yards with a touchdown and interception in the Vikings’ home win over the Lions. Andrew Dowell, LB, New Orleans SaintsDowell played on 24 special teams plays and recorded one tackle in the Saints’ 33-22 in over Washington. Justin Layne, CB, Pittsburgh SteelersLayne played on 12 special teams plays and was flagged once for an illegal block in the Steelers’ 27-19 win over the Broncos. His role, though, was significantly reduced, with only 19 snaps on defense and six on special teams.mlive.com
Spartans in the NFL: Le’Veon Bell back in uniform for the Ravens
EAST LANSING – After a September spent off of an active roster, former first-team All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell was back in uniform on Sunday. Bell played his first game with the Ravens on Sunday after being called up from the practice squad the day before. Andrew Dowell, LB, New Orleans SaintsDowell played in 20 special teams plays in the Saints’ 27-21 overtime loss to the Giants. Justin Layne, CB, Pittsburgh SteelersLayne played 10 special teams plays in the Steelers’ loss to the Packers. He saw action on 13 special teams plays in his season debut.mlive.com
Spartans in the NFL: Cody White makes NFL debut with Steelers
Jack Conklin, OT, Cleveland BrownsConklin played his usual role as starting left tackle in the Brown’s win over the Bears. He played in 23 special teams plays for the Saints but didn’t appear with the team’s defense in its 28-13 win over the Patriots. Justin Layne, CB, Pittsburgh SteelersLayne played solely on special teams, recording one tackle in 12 plays in the Steelers’ 24-10 loss to the Bengals. Malik McDowell, DT, Cleveland BrownsMcDowell recorded one tackle while starting and playing two thirds of the team’s defensive snaps. Cody White, WR, Pittsburgh SteelersWhite was called up from the Steelers’ practice squad ahead of the team’s game against the Bengals.mlive.com
Spartans in the NFL: Khari Willis records third career interception for Colts
Here’s how former Michigan State players fared in Week 2 of NFL action:Brian Allen, Los Angeles RamsAllen started and played all 59 offensive snaps in the Rams’ win over the Colts. Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota VikingsCousins finished 22-for-32 for 244 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in Minnesota’s 34-33 loss to Arizona. He led a late drive to the Arizona 27-yard-line, but a potential game-winning field goal with four seconds left missed. Andrew Dowell, LB, New Orleans SaintsDowell saw action in nine plays during his third career game. Malik McDowell, DT, Cleveland BrownsMcDowell had a quieter game than a week ago in his NFL debut.mlive.com
Spartans in the NFL: Who made initial 53-man rosters and who didn’t
Twenty-four former Michigan State players spent at least one day with an NFL team during training camp this fall. Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota VikingsCousins is starting his 10th NFL season and fourth as the starter for the Vikings. Taybor Pepper, LS, San Francisco 49ersPepper is set for his second season with the 49ers and fourth NFL season overall. He made it through training camp and is now set to start his second NFL season with his second team. He was claimed off of waivers in May by the Bengals and made it to final cuts but didn’t earn a spot on the initial 53-man roster.mlive.com
Chiefs' Reid: QB Mahomes 'doing good' after concussion
– Patrick Mahomes had enough wits about him after a concussion knocked the star quarterback from the Kansas City Chiefs' divisional-round playoff win over the Cleveland Browns to get a rather clever hashtag trending on Twitter. It was a reference to his backup, Chad Henne, who came on when Mahomes got hurt midway through the third quarter Sunday. Now, the question is whether Mahomes will be cleared to play the Buffalo Bills in the AFC title game next Sunday. He passed all the deals he needed to pass and we'll see where it goes from here,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the game. 1 seed and first-round bye, so Reid elected to sit Mahomes and most of his starters for the otherwise meaningless game.
Browns guard Bitiono back for playoffs after COVID-19
Browns Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio will be activated from the COVID-19 list Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, after missing last weeks playoff win over Pittsburgh. The Pro Bowl left guard was activated from the COVID-19 list Friday after missing last week’s wild-card win over Pittsburgh. It was a devastating development for Bitiono, who had endured so much losing with the Browns before this turnaround season. "Elated for Joel,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said on Zoom call with local writers. On Thursday, coach Kevin Stefanski returned in person to the team after also missing last week's game with COVID-19.
Browns RT Jack Conklin day-to-day with hamstring injury
The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 48-37 on Sunday night in an AFC Wild Card game for their first playoff win since 1995. Jack Conklin was injured early in the second quarter and didn’t return. Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski on Monday said Conklin is day-to-day with a hamstring injury as the sixth-seed Browns prepare to face the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs on Sunday. Conklin, according to Cleveland.com, traveled separately to the game after missing Friday’s practice due to illness. Related Michigan State football stories:The outlook for Michigan State football’s early enrollees in 2021 recruiting classFormer Michigan State CB Davion Williams transferring to Western KentuckyMichigan State WR Javez Alexander enters transfer portalMichigan State athletics reports two new positive COVID-19 resultsRevisiting my Michigan State football preseason predictionsmlive.com
Former Spartan Jack Conklin named All-Pro in first season with Browns
Jack Conklin’s rise took him from a walk-on at Michigan State to a first-round NFL draft pick to a first team All-Pro. Conklin, a right tackle in his first season with the Cleveland Browns, was named to the Associated Press 2020 All-Pro team on Friday. Conklin has started all 15 games he has appeared in this season for the Browns (11-5), who made the playoffs for the first time since 2002. A graduate of Plainwell High School, Conklin joined Michigan State as a walk-on in 2012 and took a redshirt as a true freshman before being placed on scholarship the following year. Conklin was named an All-Pro as a rookie and started all 57 games he appeared in over four seasons with the Titans.mlive.com
Aaron Donald, Travis Kelce unanimous AP All-Pro Team choices
Donald was selected Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, to The Associated Press All-Pro Team. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear, File)Dynamic defensive star Aaron Donald and unstoppable tight end Travis Kelce are unanimous choices Friday for The Associated Press NFL All-Pro Team. It is the sixth All-Pro selection for Donald, who has helped the Los Angeles Rams to the top-ranked defense in the NFL, and the third for Kansas City's record-setting Kelce. Rounding out the offense are Cleveland right tackle Jack Conklin (second selection), and Washington right guard Brandon Scherff (first). The long snapper position is new to the All-Pro Team in 2020, and Baltimore's Morgan Cox is the choice.
Spartans in the NFL: Raequan Williams records first sack to cap rookie season
Raequan Williams began the season on the practice squad and ended it with a career first. Joe Bachie, LB, Philadelphia EaglesBachie didn’t record any statistics while playing 18 snaps on special teams for the Eagles in their loss to Washington. The rookie had two tackles in four games this season. He played 11 snaps on special teams and didn’t record a statistic. Gholston has 44 tackles, including eight for a loss, three sacks and a fumble recovery in 16 games this season.mlive.com
Spartans in the NFL: William Gholston finally headed to playoffs as Buccaneers end drought
Brady’s impressive performance came a day after the Buccaneers signed quarterback and former Michigan State standout Drew Stanton to the practice squad. The rookie had two tackles while playing 18 snaps of defense and 18 snaps on special teams as the Eagles (4-10-1) lost 37-17 to the Cowboys. Justin Layne, CB, Pittsburgh SteelersLayne made two tackles while playing 16 snaps on special teams as the Steelers (12-3) beat the Colts 28-24. He played 13 snaps on special teams. Raequan Williams, DT, Philadelphia EaglesWilliams had one tackle while playing 19 snaps on defense and eight on special teams for the Eagles in their loss against the Cowboys.mlive.com
Mayfield, Browns move closer to playoffs, top Giants 20-6
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) celebrates with teammate Austin Hooper (81) after they connect for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Baker Mayfield led two 95-yard touchdown drives and the Cleveland Browns moved closer to ending their 17-year playoff drought with a 20-6 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday night. Mayfield was sharp all night, helping the Browns (10-4) bounce back from a 47-42 loss to Baltimore last Monday night. The win got the Browns closer to clinching their first playoff spot since 2002, the NFL’s longest drought. New York's opening drive stalled at the 8 after McCoy's throw to Evan Engram fell incomplete in the end zone. It could've worked, too: Kicker Graham Gano was wide open in the end zone.
Spartans in the NFL: Eagles add two former Michigan State players
The Philadelphia Eagles defense is taking on a distinct Michigan State flavor. The team added a pair of former Spartans players in the past week, one for the second time this week and one to potentially make his NFL debut soon. Former Michigan State defensive lineman Raequan Williams was activated off the Eagles’ practice squad last week to play his second career NFL game after joining the club as a free agent. He played in 27 total plays in the Eagles’ 30-16 loss to the Packers and recorded three tackles. Then, on Monday, the Eagles signed former Spartans linebacker Joe Bachie to its active roster.mlive.com
Spartans in the NFL: Le’Veon Bell gets first touchdown with Chiefs
It’s been a slow start for Le’Veon Bell in his four games with the Kansas City Chiefs since being cut by the Jets and signing with the defending Super Bowl champs. But the former Spartans star running back has finally found the end zone, at least. Bell recorded his first touchdown in a Chiefs uniform on Sunday, when he took a pitch and ran to the right pylon in the third quarter against the Raiders. His touchdown caused one of five second-half lead changes in Kansas City’s eventual 35-31 win. Josiah Scott, CB, Jacksonville JaguarsWhile Layne was seeing increased action due to injury, Scott also saw the most action he’s seen all year: four defensive snaps against the Steelers.mlive.com
Browns' Garrett home sick, team places 3 more on COVID list
Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Jack Conklin (78) plays against the Houston Texans during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Cleveland. The team also placed dependable long snapper Charley Hughlett on the growing list. Stefanski said Garrett has not tested positive. The NFL created the COVID list for players who either tested positive or have had close contact with an infected person or persons. They also put quarterback Baker Mayfield on the COVID list for a few days after he had contact with a staffer who tested positive.
The Latest: Ohio Stadium off limits to family and friends
A limited number of media will be allowed to cover Saturday’s football game, which will be nationally televised on FOX. Hickok got into the tournament as an alternate after Bill Haas tested positive earlier in the week. That’s the most positive tests on the PGA Tour since late June, when four players tested positive in a span of a week. Cameron Champ, Denny McCarthy and Dylan Frittelli had positive tests in Connecticut, and Harris English tested positive in Detroit. The Bosnian soccer federation said Wednesday that besides Kolasinac, another national team player, Ibrahim Sehic, also tested positive.
Spartans in the NFL: Two former Spartans land on COVID-19 list
Two former Michigan State players saw their names added to the league’s COVID-19 reserve list – although being there had little effect on what either of the did on Sunday. He spent time on the team’s COVID-19 reserve list during the week but tested negative multiple times and was activated on Sunday to play the Saints. Waynes, meanwhile, was placed on the list while he’s on injured reserve for a torn pectoral suffered in training camp. His return from IR was not thought to be imminent, but Waynes would not be allowed back in team facilities while on the COVID-19 list. Khari Willis, S, Indianapolis ColtsWillis recorded nine tackles, including eight solo tackles, in the Colts' 24-10 loss to the Ravens on Sunday.mlive.com
Spartans in the NFL: Khari Willis shines as Colts top Bengals
Khari Willis had a standout performance for the Indianapolis Colts in Sunday’s 31-27 win against the Cincinnati Bengals. A fourth-round pick from the 2019 NFL draft, Willis is in his second season with the Colts. The third-year player started the first nine games last season before suffering a torn MCL, meniscus and fractured tibia. He had 16 tackles, including one for a loss, and one interception in the first three games this season. Fowler has two catches for 11 yards and recovered a fumbled kickoff return in five games this season.mlive.com
Spartans in the NFL: Shilique Calhoun makes key plays against former team
Shilique Calhoun recorded the first solo sack of his NFL career last week. The New England Patriots' linebacker and former Michigan State star followed that with standout performance on Sunday. Calhoun had three tackles, two forced fumbles and a half-sack in New England’s 36-20 win against the Las Vegas Raiders. Now in his second season with New England, Calhoun has eight tackles and 1.5 sacks in three games this year. The rookie who was picked in the fourth round of this year’s draft has yet to make his NFL debut.mlive.com
Spartans in the NFL: Khari Willis picks off Kirk Cousins for first career INT
One week after recording his first NFL sack, Khari Willis added another milestone. The Indianapolis Colts' second-year safety and former Michigan State standout notched his first career interception. Although Cousins and Willis weren’t at Michigan State at the same time, there is a connection between the two. The fourth-round pick from last year’s draft has six tackles in two games for the Colts (1-1) this season. It was the first solo sack of his NFL career, following a half-sack he recorded for the Raiders as a rookie in 2016.mlive.com
Browns tackle Conklin not starting against Bengals
CLEVELAND – Backup right tackle Chris Hubbard will start over injured Jack Conklin for the Cleveland Browns when they host the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night. Conklin, who was the Browns' biggest signing in free agency this winter, injured his ankle and a finger in last week's season-opening, 38-6 loss at Baltimore. He's active to face the Bengals, but the Browns announced before the game that Chris Hubbard is starting. Cleveland starting center JC Tretter (knee) and rookie left tackle Jedrick Wills (knee) are both playing. Starting cornerback Greedy Williams (shoulder) will miss his second straight game andThe Bengals are missing defensive tackles Geno Atkins (shoulder) and Mike Daniels (groin).
Browns' Mayfield admits he was 'lost' in chaotic 2019 season
(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)BEREA, Ohio Baker Mayfield knew he needed to drop some weight, and maybe a little of the attitude. If there was anything the Browns' self-assured quarterback learned during a chaotic, losing 2019 season in Cleveland it was that he had to change. I would say I lost myself not having that success, not finding out what was working, he said. For Mayfield, this past offseason provided the chance for a restart, and the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner and 2018 No. Mayfield said he got out of shape last season partly because injuries prevented him from working out the way he would have liked.