The NFL first recognized National Tight Ends Day in 2019 and has since celebrated the day annually on the fourth Sunday of October. Stanford is considered by many to be “Tight End U,” as six Cardinal alumni are active tight ends in the NFL: Zach Ertz ‘13, Dalton Schultz ‘18, Austin Hooper ‘16, Kaden Smith ‘19, Colby Parkinson ‘20 and Levine Toilolo ‘13. On their big day, Ertz and Hooper in particular shined for T.E.U.
In his debut with the Arizona Cardinals after last week’s trade, Ertz had three receptions, a team-leading 66 yards receiving and a 47 yard touchdown — the longest of his career.
Ertz became the first player in NFL history to catch a touchdown for different teams in consecutive weeks. The game ball and his game-worn gloves will soon be on display in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ertz’s historic night helped the Cardinals reach 7-0 on the season as they defeated the Houston Texans 31-5.
Ertz was not the only Stanford alumnus to celebrate Tight Ends Day. Hooper caught two of his three targets for a team-leading 42 yards as the Browns defeated the Broncos 17-14. Cowboys’ Schultz was one of several former Cardinal on bye this week, and, as a result, was unable to partake in Tight Ends Day.
Houston quarterback Davis Mills ‘21 completed 23 of 32 pass attempts for 135 yards. Mills also had a fumble as the Texans failed to make it into the endzone for the second week in a row and dropped to 1-6 on the season.
Former Cardinal linemen also made an impact on both sides of the ball. Offensively, Andrus Peat ‘15 protected New Orleans quarterback Jameis Winston all night en route to the Saints defeating the Seahawks 13-10 on Monday Night Football. On the other side, Arizona defensive end Josh Mauro ‘14 made his season debut and recorded a tackle for the Cardinals. Solomon Thomas ‘17 had three tackles and two quarterback hits in the Raiders’ 33-22 win over the Eagles.
Linebackers Curtis Robinson ‘21 and Bobby Okereke ‘19 both helped their respective teams hold their opponents under 20 points. Although the Broncos lost, they held the Browns to 17 points, part of which can be attributed to Robinson’s three tackles. Okereke had four tackles — one for a loss — along with a pass deflection as the Colts defeated the 49ers 30-18.
While Richard Sherman ‘11 remained sidelined from a hamstring injury he suffered last week, he did contribute to the Buccaneers’ 38-3 win, albeit in an unusual way. After Bucs’ cornerback coach Kevin Ross tested positive for COVID-19, Sherman stepped in and helped fill his coaching role.
Sticking with the theme of defensive backs, Paulson Adebo ‘21 had four tackles along with a pass deflection for the Saints and registered a hit on Seahawks’ quarterback Geno Smith. Houston safety Justin Reid ‘18 had seven tackles, including five solo tackles, for the Texans.
On special teams, Ty Montgomery ‘15 returned a kick for 33 yards for the Saints and Jake Bailey ‘19 only punted once for 35 yards in the Patriots’ 54-13 rout of the New York Jets.