Buckeyes in the NFL, Week 15: Ebner Plays Supporting Role in Best GIF of Season

By Mike Young on December 16, 2013 at 11:15a

Brandon Fields' facemask is the undoubted star of this Dolphins derp-fest, but Nate Ebner is there to make sure his name ends up in the boxscore. It's his second fumble recovery of the year, reminding us he is the sole opportunist of your silly mistakes, NFL. 

Special teams gaffes were expected when Mike Nugent took over as the Bengals punter, but he was serviceable. Strange happenings on special teams continued to be a theme for Buckeyes in the NFL, as Chimdi Chekwa took part in a trick play on Oakland's punting unit. 

In less zany news, Mike Brewster suffered a severe ankle injury and had to be helped off the field. Santonio Holmes also ate his overblown words, in a sense.

Plus, Eleven Warriors has stats from all former Ohio State players in the NFL.

OUT OF NECESSITY, Nugent displays versatility

Hot licking kicker/punter actionFourth down and five. Mike Nugent on for the ... punt?

As a former SportsCenter anchor, the NFL Network's Rich Eisen is an expert in creating a catchphrase and, summarily, running it into the ground. One of his more recent inventions is "punters are people too" (complete with t-shirts!). 

Unfortunately, Terence Garvin did not treat Bengals punter Kevin Huber like a fellow human being. Instead, the Steelers' linebacker turned Huber into a personal rag doll. That vicious, un-flagged hit resulted in a fractured jaw for Huber.

Most NFL teams lack the ingenuity to keep two punters on their active rosters, so the kicker normally takes over the punting duties. For the Bengals, that meant Nugent became the interim punter. 

He might be the second-coming of Ray Guy, but it's a work in progress. His two punts averaged 40 yards, which would put him dead last in the NFL if applied to a whole season's work. 

The Bengals went on to lose to the Steelers, 30-20. That was largely a result of Cincinnati's early, special teams gaffes, although no blame should be applied to Nugent. 

Brewster fractures ankle

In Brewster's two seasons with the Jaguars, his playing time has been somewhat spotty. Last year, he started seven games and entered Sunday with two starts in 2013.

Veteran center Brad Meester has spent 14 seasons in Jacksonville and isn't stepping aside for anyone. So, Brewster has been plugged in at other spots on the line. Sunday, with Will Rackley out with a concussion, Brewster started at left guard. 

Unfortunately, it was a short stint. After Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams rolled on his ankle in the first half, Brewster went down. Apparently, Chad Henne might have fell on it, too. Either way, Brewster had to be helped off the field and couldn't put pressure on his left ankle. The Jaguars trainers also had to bring out the cart.  

After the game, head coach Gus Bradley told the media Brewster suffered a fractured left ankle. It's a tough blow for him, as he tries to impress a new coaching staff and for the team, down to their third-string guard. 

Holmes' comments provide motivation for panthers

These days, anything Holmes says is likely to be blown out of proportion.

He's not living up to his huge contract and he's a target in the haughty New York media. To be fair, injuries have taken away a large percentage of his last two seasons. Even if he was healthy, is he really expected to catch anything thrown by Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith? 

So, when Holmes paid the Panthers defense a, somewhat, back-handed compliment, it was unlikely that he would be casted in the most favorable light. 

"Not to call these guys out, but their secondary is probably the weakest link on their defense," Holmes said, Thursday. "Their front seven are guys that are really going to get after the ball. They have really great pass rushers. We know how physical these guys are."

The Panthers defensive backfield was not flattered by those comments, and used them as motivation to shut down Holmes. Carolina coach Ron Rivera even brought it up in the lead-up to Sunday's game. 

"We're the weakest link? I took that real personal," Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said, after the game. "Santonio Holmes lit a fire in our secondary, and we showed up today."

Holmes finished the game with 2 receptions and 14 yards. Munnerlyn had a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown. 

"I'm an eight-year veteran. I wouldn't regret anything," Holmes said, after the game. ""I said it and I still feel that way."

Highlight of the week

Chekwa's impact on the Raiders has been felt on special teams, almost exclusively. Oakland selected him the fourth-round of the 2011 draft as a cornerback, but he showcased his wide pass catching skills on a fake punt, Sunday. 

It was an obvious trick play situation in CBS analyst Dan Fouts' mind, meaning it was even more obvious to everyone watching. Running back Marcel Reece made the 22-yard toss to Chekwa, making it one of the few Raiders passes that didn't end up in the hands of the Kansas City defense. 

How ex-Buckeyes Fared During Week 15

Player team position stats/Notes
Mike Adams Pittsburgh Steelers OT Briefly filled in at LT for Kelvin Beachum
Will Allen Pittsburgh Steelers S 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss in win over Bengals
Jake Ballard Arizona Cardinals TE 3 rec, 13 yds, 1 touchdown catch 
Alex Boone San Francisco 49ers OG 49ers rush for 187 yards in win over Bucs
Michael Brewster Jacksonville Jaguars OL Started at guard, left after fracturing his left ankle
Chimdi Chekwa Oakland Raiders CB Showcasing wide receiver skills on fake punt 
Kurt Coleman Philadelphia Eagles DB 2 tackles, one injured hamstring, one ecstatic fanbase 
Jim Cordle New York Giants C On injured reserve
Nate Ebner New England Patriots DB Recovered fumble after Brandon Field's head butt
Reid Fragel Cleveland Browns OT Inactive while his team continues perpetual tanking  
Ted Ginn Jr. Carolina Panthers WR 1 rec, 10 yds, 1 carry, 14 yds
Johnathan Hankins New York Giants DT 3 tackles in loss to Seahawks
Brian Hartline Miami Dolphins WR 5 rec, 70 yds, inspiration to young, white males
Ben Hartsock Carolina Panthers TE Continues to carve out niche as a great blocking TE
A.J. Hawk Green Bay Packers LB 3 tackles, still working on a loose chinstrap issue
Boom Herron  Indianapolis Colts RB On injured reserve
Cameron Heyward Pittsburgh Steelers DE Continues strong season with 3 tackles in win
Santonio Holmes New York Jets WR 2 rec, 14 yds "weak link" secondary shuts him down
Malcolm Jenkins New Orleans Saints S 4 tackles and missed a few more in loss to Rams
James Laurinaitis St. Louis Rams LB 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss in win over Saints  
Nick Mangold New York Jets C Jets ran for 157 yds vs tough Panthers D, still lost
Jake McQuaide St. Louis Rams LS Snapped 2 FGs, 3 XPs in win 
Mike Nugent Cincinnati Bengals K Stepped in at punter after hit on Kevin Huber
Ryan Pickett Green Bay Packers DT 2 tackles in comeback win against Cowbys
DeVier Posey Houston Texans WR Injured ankle in team's 12th loss 
Terrelle Pryor Oakland Raiders QB 1/4, 12 yds, 1 INT, 3 rushes, 19 yds in loss to Chiefs
Dane Sanzenbacher Cincinnati Bengals WR Inactive in loss to Steelers
John Simon Baltimore Ravens LB Plays tonight at Lions 
Rob Sims Detroit Lions OG Plays tonight vs Ravens
Austin Spitler Miami Dolphins LB Dolphins counted out "Touchdown Tom" and won?
Jake Stoneburner Green Bay Packers TE Inactive in win over Cowboys
Donte Whitner San Francisco 49ers S 1 tackle, 2 pass deflections in win over Bucs

[GIF via @CorkGaines]

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