The big news for former Iowa players in the NFL in Week 8 was twofold: injuries and trades. On the former front, George Kittle sustained a foot injury (or aggravated an old foot injury) late in the 49ers' 37-27 loss to Seattle on Sunday. He's expected to be out eight weeks (which would end his season), though he hopes to be back sooner:
49ers HC Kyle Shanahan on George Kittles injury timeline: They told me eight weeks. Kittle says two, but that's how he rolls. That's why he'll go on IR and if it's better than what they're saying, hell have a chance to come back this year, but eight weeks is eight weeks.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 3, 2020
Kittle missed time earlier this season with injuries and injuries were one of the factors that limited his production during his time in Iowa City as well. He had largely managed to avoid those issues over the last few years, though, as he became one of the top tight ends in the game. Hopefully he can make a full and speedy recovery.
On the latter front, Desmond King has a new city (and team) to call home after the NFL Trade Deadline earlier this week.
King will join another former Iowa defensive back, Amani Hooker, in Tennessee's defensive backfield as the Titans look to shore up what's been a pretty leaky defense this season. King started his career brightly in San Diego/Los Angeles, but he seemed to fall out of favor this season and had been pushing for a trade. PFF has been very high on him over the last few seasons, so hopefully he'll get more opportunities to ball out with the Titans:
So what about the actual games that were played last weekend?
T.J. Hockenson's streak of games with a touchdown catch was snapped at three, but he still managed to have one of his most productive games of the season in Detroit's 41-21 loss to the Colts. He finished with seven catches (on 10 targets) for 65 yards, both season highs.
Noah Fant also had a productive game, finishing with seven catches for 47 yards in Denver's thrilling 31-30 comeback win over the Chargers. He managed to throw a good block, too:
It wasn't a perfect game for Austin Schlottman, but his awareness in turning back to find the backside linebacker opened the door on Lindsay's big run. Great blocks by Noah Fant and DaeSean Hamilton as well: pic.twitter.com/Wg0ce5LQ9N— Nick Kosmider (@NickKosmider) November 2, 2020
Before leaving the game with that aforementioned foot injury, George Kittle had two catches for 39 yards. Kittle wasn't the only prominent member of the Niners offense to leave due to injury, either -- QB Jimmy Garoppolo exited the game with an ankle injury that was later diagnosed as a high ankle sprain; he's expected to be out at least six weeks. Nick Mullens replaced Garoppolo in that game (and performed well, going 18/25 for 238 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions) and is expected to be the San Francisco starter moving forward. But former C.J. Beathard should go from being the third-string QB to the main back-up for the 49ers now, so he'll be much closer to seeing additional playing time.
Tristan Wirfs once again started and helped lead Tampa Bay to a 25-23 comeback win over the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. He had extra motivation in that game as well, since the Giants opted to select Andrew Thomas in the first round instead of Wirfs. Wirfs continues to look like one of (if not the) the best rookie offensive tackles in the league:
QB pressure % allowed by 1st RD OTs— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 29, 2020
1. Tristan Wirfs, Buc - 4.6%
2. Jedrick Wills Jr, Browns - 5.0%
3. Mekhi Becton, Jets - 6.8%
4. Austin Jackson, Dolphins - 7.6%
5. Andrew Thomas, Giants - 14.6% pic.twitter.com/z8ezDhIeLe
Ike Boettger started again for the Bills on Sunday and was actually... pretty damn awesome?
Boettger going from a good but not always standout tackle at Iowa to a guy able to start and produce performances like that in the NFL is one of the happier developments of this NFL season. Great job, Ike.
Austin Blythe started and played extensively for the Rams in their surprising 28-17 loss to the Dolphins. Casey Kreiter was active and handled long-snapping duties for the Giants. James Ferentz was active but did not play in New England's 24-21 loss to Buffalo. James Daniels remains on injured reserve for the Bears.
Josey Jewell had 10 tackles (6 solo) in Denver's stunning comeback win against the Chargers. Jewell's performance earned praise from Denver head coach Vic Fangio:
Fangio with high praise for Josey Jewell: Joseys been playing well all season. Been very pleased with his play— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) November 2, 2020
Hes playing his position very, very well
Michael Ojemudia added 4 tackles (3 solo) in the same game. Ojemudia also showed off a strong costume game for Halloween:
Broncos rookies Essang Bassey and Michael Ojemudia dressed up as Lloyd and Harry from Dumb and Dumber @EBassey21 @GotMo_J @Broncos @JimCarrey @Jeff_Daniels— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) November 2, 2020
(videos via @ReemBoi25) pic.twitter.com/9bq70GCex4
Josh Jackson had five tackles (four solo) in Green Bay's 28-22 loss to Minnesota. Jaleel Johnson had four tackles (three solo) for the Vikings in that same game.
A.J. Epenesa recorded no stats in Buffalo's 24-21 win over New England. Micah Hyde did not play in the game for Buffalo.
Amani Hooker had two tackles in Tennessee's 31-20 loss to Cincinnati. Mike Daniels had one tackle for Cincinnati in that game.
Anthony Hitchens recorded no stats in Kansas City's 35-9 win over the Jets. Ben Niemann had two tackles for the Chiefs in that game.
Adrian Clayborn had three tackles in Cleveland's 16-6 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. Anthony Nelson had a QB hit, but no tackles, in Tampa Bay's 25-23 win over the Giants.
Desmond King did not play in the Chargers' 31-30 come-from-ahead loss to Denver prior to being traded earlier this week.
Christian Kirksey was on injured reserve, but is eligible to return now. Geno Stone remains on Baltimore's practice squad.