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Badgers in the NFL, Week 8: Tanner McEvoy, Derek Watt make big plays; Melvin Gordon impresses again

Melvin Gordon accomplished a rare feat against the Broncos on Sunday.

San Diego Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

It was a busy week for former Wisconsin Badgers in the NFL. Before we get to the action, here is your weekly reminder that past performances and news for Badgers in the NFL can be found here, while a complete list of alumni on active rosters is here.

Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers running back

It’s starting to feel like the former Badgers back has this lead spot reserved for the 2016 season. While Gordon did not find the end zone and his team lost on Sunday, he totaled an impressive 111 yards on 23 carries against the Denver Broncos. He is the first player to gain 100 yards rushing against Denver’s defense in 22 games, over a calendar year. Gordon added four catches for 44 yards as well.

Gordon and this game gained some extra attention when he collided with Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips during a Broncos interception return:

Phillips was strapped to a backboard following the play as a precaution and taken to a local hospital. He was released on Sunday night and Gordon explained how the accident happened:

Derek Watt, San Diego Chargers fullback

Gordon’s backfield partner in San Diego made a highlight of his own on Sunday. The rookie fullback snuck out of the backfield to make a catch-and-run of 53 yards:

The big play set up a Chargers touchdown later in the drive.

Tanner McEvoy, Seattle Seahawks quarterback wide receiver

One week after making a key blocked punt in the Seahawks’ Week 7 Sunday Night Football matchup, McEvoy channeled his quarterback experience in the team’s loss to the New Orleans Saints. He took a quick pass from quarterback Russell Wilson and threw it across the field for a 43-yard completion:

The Seahawks scored on the next play to take a first-quarter lead.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks quarterback

It was a big week off the field for Wilson—he and his wife announced they are expecting their first child. On the field, he continued his touchdown drought and the Seahawks lost the to the Saints, 25-20. Wilson ran for only 11 yards and finished 22-of-43 for 253 yards with an interception through the air. By the time the Seahawks take the field for Week 9, it will have been over a month since Wilson’s last touchdown pass (Oct. 2, vs. the New York Jets):

Brad Nortman, Jacksonville Jaguars punter

Nortman was busy on Sunday, punting six times for a 45.8-yard average. He landed one of the punts inside the 20 and recorded a long punt of 60 yards. His performance earned him plenty of team-MVP talk and another nomination for AFC Special Teams Player of the Week:

Alex Erickson, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver

Erickson added to the list of former Badgers making big plays to set up touchdowns for their teams, as he returned a first-quarter kick 65 yards into Washington Redskins territory. Erickson also returned one punt for seven yards as the Bengals tied Washington, 27-27.

Other notes and highlights:

  • Rookie linebacker Joe Schobert recorded his first half-sack on Sunday in the Cleveland Browns’ loss to the Jets. He added three total tackles as well.
  • New England Patriots running back James White totaled two catches for 14 yards and two carries for 15 yards in the Patriots’ 41-25 win over the Buffalo Bills. White had scored three touchdowns in his last two games entering Sunday.
  • The Green Bay Packers waived wide receiver Jared Abbrederis on an injury settlement. Abbrederis had seen sparse offensive work this season, recording one catch for eight yards. His comments on the roster move can be found here.
  • Bengals defensive back Darius Hillary was moved back to the team’s practice squad. He was promoted from the Bengals’ practice squad on Oct. 21.
  • As Jake posted last week, quarterback Joel Stave was signed to the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad.