The Los Angeles Chargers elevated running back Troymaine Pope from their practice squad on Saturday, and he carried the football for the first time in the 2020 season on Sunday.
And while that rushing attempt did gain 6 yards, that wasn’t the big play that Pope contributed to the Chargers’ 39-29 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
Kicking off after rookie quarterback Justin Herbert’s 70-yard touchdown pass had allowed Los Angeles to tie the game at 29-29, the Chargers got a break when Tevaughn Campbell caused the Jaguars’ Dede Westbrook to fumble. Pope came up with the loose football at the Jacksonville 19-yard line.
Four snaps later, Los Angeles had a 36-29 lead with 1:42 left in the third quarter.
Pope has spent this season on the Chargers’ practice squad, but Sunday marked the second time he’d been brought up. In Los Angeles’ 30-27 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints in its previous game on Oct. 12, Pope was on the field for four offensive snaps and nine special-teams plays.
A prep star at Anniston who played at Jacksonville State, Pope entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2016, playing one game with the New York Jets and three with the Seattle Seahawks. Over the next two years, he was on the rosters of the Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans and Chargers without playing in a game. Last season, Pope played in 14 games with Los Angeles.
Pope was among the 30 players from Alabama high schools and colleges (excluding Alabama and Auburn) who got on the field on the seventh Sunday of the NFL’s 101st season.
Three other former state players were at the Jaguars-Chargers game:
· Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen (Abbeville) registered a quarterback hit and broke up a pass in his return to the field after missing the previous two games because of an injury.
· Chargers punter Ty Long (UAB) averaged 46.0 yards on three punts and, for the first time in his NFL career, had a punt blocked, which Jacksonville turned into a touchdown.
· Jaguars linebacker Quincy Williams (Wenonah) made seven tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage, and broke up a pass for the first pass defended of his NFL career.
In the other Sunday games:
Detroit Lions 23, Atlanta Falcons 22
· Lions defensive end Trey Flowers (Columbia) made two tackles, registered a quarterback hit, broke up a pass and recovered a fumble. Flowers recovered a fumble at the Atlanta 36 and added a 4-yard return to set up a field goal that gave Detroit a 16-14 lead with 3:16 left in the game.
· Falcons running back Ito Smith (McGill-Toolen) played but did not record any stats.
· Lions guard Logan Stenberg (James Clemens) was designated as a game-day inactive.
· Nick Williams (Minor, Samford) started at defensive tackle for the Lions. Williams made two tackles.
Cleveland Browns 37, Cincinnati Bengals 34
· Browns inside linebacker Tae Davis (Oxford) made a special-teams tackle.
· Chris Hubbard (UAB) started at right guard for the Browns for the second game in a row.
Green Bay Packers 35, Houston Texans 20
· Zach Cunningham (Pinson Valley) started at inside linebacker for the Texans. Cunningham led Houston with 11 tackles. He reached double digits in tackles for the fifth time in the past six games.
· Tytus Howard (Monroe County, Alabama State) started at right offensive tackle for the Texans.
· Za’Darius Smith (Greenville) started at outside linebacker for the Packers. Smith made three tackles, recorded his sixth sack of the season and registered two quarterback hits.
New Orleans Saints 27, Carolina Panthers 24
· Panthers wide receiver Seth Roberts (West Alabama) played but did not record any stats.
· Panthers offensive tackle Trent Scott (Lee-Huntsville) played but did not record any stats. Scott saw some action at guard for the first time in his career.
· Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (Hueytown) did not play.
Buffalo Bills 18, New York Jets 10
· Mario Addison (Tarrant, Troy) started at right defensive end for the Bills. Addison made one tackle.
· Bills linebacker Deon Lacey (Hueytown, West Alabama) played but did not record any stats.
· Bills safety Siran Neal (Eufaula, Jacksonville State) played but did not record any stats.
· Jets defensive end Bryce Huff (St. Paul’s Episcopal) made four tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage. An undrafted rookie, Huff entered the game with four tackles in his NFL career.
· Jets running back La’Mical Perine (Theodore) ran for 39 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries and caught two passes for 16 yards. Perine scored his first NFL touchdown on a 5-yard run as New York took a 10-0 lead with 7:22 left in the first half.
Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Tennessee Titans 24
· Titans fullback Khari Blasingame (Buckhorn) played but did not record any stats.
· Malcolm Butler (West Alabama) started at cornerback for the Titans. Butler made eight tackles.
· Ben Jones (Bibb County) started at center for the Titans.
Washington Football Team 25, Dallas Cowboys 3
· Washington running back J.D. McKissic (Central-Phenix City) ran for 35 yards on five carries and caught two passes for 16 yards.
San Francisco 49ers 33, New England Patriots 6
· Forty-Niners linebacker Kwon Alexander (Oxford) was designated as a game-day inactive. Alexander was out for a second straight game because of an ankle injury.
· Patriots offensive tackle Korey Cunningham (Montevallo) did not play.
· Forty-Niners quarterback Nick Mullens (Spain Park) did not play.
· Forty-Niners safety Jaquiski Tartt (Davidson, Samford) was designated as a game-day inactive. A groin injury sidelined Tartt.
· Forty-Niners safety Jimmie Ward (Davidson) was designated as a game-day inactive. A quadricep injury sidelined Ward.
Kansas City Chiefs 43, Denver Broncos 16
· Tyreek Hill (West Alabama) started at wide receiver for the Chiefs. Hill caught six passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. Hill scored his sixth TD of the season on a 10-yard reception with 11:15 left to play.
· Malik Reed (Dothan) started at outside linebacker for the Broncos. Reed made five tackles, including two sacks. Reed also made two sacks last week in Denver’s 18-12 victory over the New England Patriots.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45, Las Vegas Raiders 20
· Rodney Hudson (B.C. Rain) started at center for the Raiders. Hudson and the rest of Las Vegas’ offensive-line starters spent the week on reserve/COVID-19. Hudson and three others were activated for Sunday’s game.
· Buccaneers defensive tackle Steve McLendon (Carroll-Ozark, Troy) made five tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage, in his first game for Tampa Bay. The Bucs acquired McLendon in a trade with the New York Jets last week.
· Nicholas Morrow (Huntsville) started at strongside linebacker for the Raiders. Morrow made three tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage.
· Rakeem Nunez-Roches (Central-Phenix City) started at nose tackle for the Buccaneers. Nunez-Roches made one tackle.
Arizona Cardinals 37, Seattle Seahawks 34 (OT)
· Seahawks defensive tackle Anthony Rush (UAB) was designated as a game-day inactive.
Week 7 started with Philadelphia Eagles’ 22-21 victory over New York Giants on Thursday night. Cornerback James Bradberry (Pleasant Grove, Samford) intercepted a pass for the Giants.
Week 7 concludes on Monday when the Chicago Bears visit the Los Angeles Rams at 7:15 p.m. ESPN will televise the game.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.
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