Stanford in the NFL, Week 2: Schultz breaks out, injuries highlight this week’s action

Sept. 23, 2020, 9:43 p.m.

Former Cardinal and current Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz ’18 had the game of his young professional career Sunday afternoon in Dallas, but it wasn’t without a couple bumps in the road. After two drops week one and a first quarter fumble on Sunday, the 2018 fourth-round pick caught fire, finishing the game with 88 yards receiving, a team-leading and career-high nine receptions and his first NFL touchdown in Dallas’s stunning 20-point comeback win.

“After last week, it was my duty for myself and my team to get back in there and have a really good work week of practice,” Schultz said to Rob Phillips of “I felt like I did that and I came out and I did what I was supposed to do.”

With Dallas’s week one starter tight end Blake Jarwin out for the season with an ACL tear, Schultz moved into the top spot in the depth chart. Expect him to get substantial playing time the rest of the year in a star-studded Cowboys offense.

Schultz was just one of many Stanford tight ends who were on display this week. Austin Hooper ’16 of the Atlanta Falcons caught two passes for 22 yards, 2019 sixth-rounder Kaden Smith ’19 picked up two receptions for the New York Giants and Zach Ertz ’12 of the Philadelphia Eagles recorded five receptions for 42 yards.

Ertz’s teammate and former Cardinal Nate Herbig ’20 had a superb Sunday on the offensive line, giving up only one quarterback hurry and zero sacks or hits.

Three former Cardinal recorded tackles for the Houston Texans defense, including ten and one by safeties Justin Reid ’19 and Michael Thomas ’12, respectively, as well as three from linebacker Brennan Scarlett ’15. 

Elsewhere in the league, linebacker Blake Martinez ’16, who finished with the third-most tackles in the NFL a season ago as a member of the Green Bay Packers, made eight tackles and a sack for his New York Giants. Linebacker Bobby Okereke ’18 and defensive end Henry Anderson ’13 each contributed three tackles for their squads, the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets, respectively.

Injuries were a big story this week for former Stanford players and the NFL as a whole. Christian McCaffrey ’18, the highest-paid running back in the league, exited in the fourth quarter after a 7-yard touchdown run for his Carolina Panthers. McCaffrey is expected to miss four to six weeks with a high ankle sprain, as the Panthers at 0-2 will look to right the ship without him for the near future. 

San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Solomon Thomas ’17 also went down this weekend with an ACL tear that is expected to end his season. With Nick Bosa out for the season and former Cardinal Richard Sherman ’10 set to miss a few more weeks as well, the defending NFC champions will be forced to reach into their defensive depth. These injuries add to a growing list of injured former Cardinal which also includes Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman David DeCastro ’12.

Contact Jibriel Taha at jtaha “at”

Jibriel Taha is a senior staff writer for the sports section. He is from Los Angeles and studies economics. Contact him at jtaha ‘at’

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