Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis was penalized early in Sunday’s game against the New York Giants for an egregious cheap shot, and he was fortunate to not be ejected.
Lewis was apparently bothered by something Giants tight end Kaden Smith did or said to him, so he decided to headbutt Smith and scamper away. An official saw the whole thing and threw a flag for unnecessary roughness. Here’s the video:
Smith could have easily been ejected for that stunt, and he will almost certainly be fined for it. We’ve seen NFL players tossed from games for a lot less this season.
Every year, we see NFL players across the league come into their own despite not having much of a track record. They can be all types; many are second- or third-year players who have matured and overcome injury or adapted to the NFL. There are others who were never highly-touted but find themselves in the right situation.
Each NFL team has breakout candidates. Here is a leading candidate from all of them.
Arizona Cardinals — Haason Reddick, LB
The 13th overall pick in last year’s draft flashed potential and appeared in all 16 games, but only started three of them. He still made an impact, with 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles on the season. The Cardinals plan to move him to inside linebacker, where he’s been studying tape of Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. That bodes well for a big year two breakout.
Atlanta Falcons — Austin Hooper, TE
Year three could be the one that sees Hooper mature into a big target at tight end. His numbers improved last season, as he caught 49 passes and scored three touchdowns. A more prominent role and regular playing time could await him in 2018 and make him a Matt Ryan favorite. He’ll just have to compete with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Atlanta’s talented running backs for touches.
During Saturday’s game between Wisconsin and Michigan, Wolverines cornerback Jourdan Lewis put in his entry for catch of the year in college football.
Late in the fourth quarter, with Michigan up 14-7, Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook attempted a long pass to George Rushing. The junior wide receiver was covered by one of the best defensive players in the country in Lewis. While the ball was in the air, Lewis left his feet a couple of seconds early, but was still able to make an incredible one-handed interception.
The more you watch the replay, the more impressive Lewis’ play gets, especially when you realize how long he was in the air prior to snagging the football.
Lewis was an All-Big Ten First Team member last season and Second Team All-American. He was also a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe and Chuck Bednarik awards.
H/T: Twitter user @Matt2Clapp