Tara O’Leary, Staff Writer|
Week Two of the NFL season was making headlines before the bulk of the games had taen place on Sunday, and it didn’t slow down from there. Sunday’s games saw broken records, two ejections, and even a mid-game re-tirement.
On Saturday a shocking statement came from the Cleveland Browns front office. The team was planning to release Wide Receiver Josh Gordon the following Monday. General Manager John Dorsey says, “For the past six years, the Browns have fully supported and invested in Josh both personally and professionally and wanted the best for him, but unfortunately we’ve reached a point where we feel it’s best to part ways.” The news came after Gordon was late to the practice facility, reporting an off the field hamstring injury. Gordon has been part of the Browns organization since 2013, but his play has been inconsistent due to multiple suspensions for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. His violation in 2014 suspended him indefinitely, and he wasn’t reinstated until midway through the 2017 season. Gordon had one reception for 17 yards and a touchdown in the Browns Week One tie against the Steelers.
Perhaps the biggest story of the week came from the Buffalo Bills, who had a player retire at halftime. Cornerback Vontae Davis, who signed a one year deal with the team back in February, will not be completing his season with the Bills, as the 10 year veteran decided to call it quits, electing not to join the team for the second half. “He pulled himself out of the game. He told us he was done,” said Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott. Davis’ teammates were not happy with his decision. Bills Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said he “had never seen anything like it” and that “it’s just completely disrespectful.” Davis states he meant no disrespect and simply that “today on the field, reality hit me fast and hard. I shouldn’t be out there anymore.” The Bills did not bounce back from his departure on Sunday and lost to the Chargers 31-20.
With a five-yard rush in the third quarter of Miami’s game against the Jets, Frank Gore moved up on the NFL’s all-time rushing list. Gore passed Curtis Martin for fourth on the list with 14,103 yards. He is in good company, sitting behind three Hall of Famers, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, and Emmitt Smith. The 35-year-old running back entered the league in 2005, playing the bulk of his career in San Francisco. Gore’s efforts helped the Dolphins defeat the Jets 20-12
Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes continued to be impressive in Week Two. On Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mahomes threw six touchdowns and led the Chiefs to a 42-37 victory. The Young QB leads the league with 10 touchdowns, more than any quarterback has thrown within the first two games of a season.
There were two ejections on Sunday. One came from Atlanta Falcons Safety Demontae Kazee who had a late helmet-to-helmet hit on Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton. A fight amongst players ensued after the illegal hit, leading to an unnecessary roughness penalty for Panthers Receiver Torrey Smith. Newton was quickly checked for a concussion and cleared to play without missing a snap.
The second ejection came from Detroit Lions Running Back LeGarrette Blount, who came off the sideline to knock down a 49ers defender. Blount’s hit on the player was in defense of his quarterback, Matthew Stafford. The Lions quarterback was scrambling on the play, nearing the sideline, when he was hit. Officials considered Stafford to still be in bounds so no penalty was called on the 49ers defender who knocked him out.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles 27-21. Bucs Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was impressive once again, throwing for over 400 yards and four touchdowns. The first of his touchdowns came on the first play of the game when he connected with former Eagle, Desean Jackson, for a 75-yard score. As of Monday, the Eagles were without their starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, for the last time. Wentz has been out since December of last year with a torn ACL and LCL. Backup Nick Foles did a nice job for the Eagles on their trip to the Super Bowl, but Wentz will be back on the field for their Week Three game against the Indianapolis Colts.