By Jibriel Taha
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman ’10 made his long-awaited return to action this week. The five-time Pro Bowler turned in an impact performance on Sunday afternoon, recording seven tackles and an interception in his first appearance since Week 1 as the 49ers took down the division-leading Rams 23-20 in Los Angeles. The defending NFC champion 49ers have been hampered by injuries this season and currently sit outside the playoffs at 5-6.
Houston Texans safety Justin Reid ’18 was another former Cardinal defensive back with an impressive showing this week. The 2018 third-rounder registered eight tackles and a sack in a 41-25 victory over the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. After going his entire career without a sack, Reid has recorded a sack in each of the past two games.
Elsewhere defensively, New York Giants linebacker Blake Martinez ’16 added another solid performance to what has been an impressive season thus far. The 2016 fourth-round pick recorded five tackles and a pass defended in a 19-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. The 4-7 Giants now sit in a tie for first place in the NFC East with the Washington Football Team.
Defensive end Henry Anderson ’15 has consistently recorded solid performances for the now 0-11 New York Jets and did so again on Sunday. The former Cardinal finished with four tackles in a 20-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
As usual, former Cardinal tight ends appeared on the stat sheet this week. On Thanksgiving, Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz ’18 picked up five receptions for 24 yards but the Cowboys lost at home to Washington 41-16. Schultz has recorded at least four receptions in each of his last four games.
Cleveland Browns tight end Austin Hooper ’17 made his presence felt on the scoresheet on Sunday as well, recording two receptions for 13 yards with a touchdown. The Browns escaped Florida with a win, defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-25 and moving to 8-3 on the season.
Two former Cardinal, David DeCastro ’12 of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jordan Richards ’15 of the Baltimore Ravens, have yet to suit up this week. The AFC North showdown between the Steelers and the Ravens was postponed twice due to a COVID-19 outbreak among the Ravens and is now set to be played Wednesday afternoon.