Rice Football is well represented on 2020 NFL rosters. Here’s where each of the NFL Owls stand prior to the beginning of the season.
There are former Rice football players scattered across the NFL. Stay tuned each week for their game results and notables from each player.
Week 1 schedule
Denver (Anderson, Callahan) vs Tennessee
Pittsburgh (Boswell, McDonald) vs New York Giants
Seattle (Willson) vs Atlanta
Cincinnati (Covington) vs Los Angeles Chargers
Detroit (Fox) vs Chicago
Houston (Gaines) vs Kansas City
Cleveland (Sendejo) vs Baltimore
Calvin Anderson – OT, Broncos
Anderson signed with the Broncos midway through last season but never saw game action. He’s back on the roster this year and listed as the backup to Garett Bolles at left tackle on the team’s first official depth chart.
Vance McDonald – TE, Steelers
McDonald is entering his fourth season in Pittsburgh, the longest stint he’s had with any one team since entering the league in 2013. His 38 receptions last year were the second-most in his career, but his 273 receiving yards were below his the 610 he posted the season prior. With Big Ben back, McDonald’s impact on the offense should tick back upward.
Luke Willson – TE, Seahawks
Willson was brought back to Seattle for his blocking ability. He’s an excellent addition to protect quarterback Russell Wilson with the ability to slip out and catch a few passes as well. He caught eight balls in eight games with the Seahawks last season while grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 13th best pass-blocking tight end.
Bryce Callahan – CB, Broncos
Callahan missed the entire 2019 season with injuries but is back and ready to see his first snaps as a Denver Bronco despite signing with the team November of 2019. He had six pass breakups and two interceptions in each of his last two seasons with the Bears, encompassing a total of 25 games.
Christian Covington – DL, Bengals
Covington signed with the Broncos this offseason as a free agent but didn’t spend much time in the Mile High City. He was traded to Cincinnati in the final days of training camp, reuniting him with fellow Owl James Casey, the Bengals tight ends coach. Covington is coming off a productive season in Dallas with six starts, one sack and a career-best 28 tackles.
Phillip Gaines – CB, Texans
Gaines appeared in five games with the Texans last season after joining the team following brief stints with the Bills and Browns. An ankle injury ended his season prematurely and could impact his availability for the start of the 2020 season. He practiced over the weekend after missing some time the week prior.
Andrew Sendejo – Saf, Browns
Sendejo spent time with the Vikings and the Eagles last season, totaling four passes defended, three interceptions and 45 total tackles. He won the starting free safety job during camp and projects to start alongside Karl Joseph in the defensive backfield for Cleveland this year.
Chris Boswell – K, Steelers
Boswell connected on 28-of-28 extra points last season and 29-of-31 field goals. He was perfect from inside 40-yards. He entered 2020 with a career field goal percentage of 87 percent.
Jack Fox – P, Lions
Fox beat out Auburn grad Arryn Siposs for the starting punting job in Detroit this offseason. When he takes the field on Sunday he’ll play in his very first regular season game after seeing some preseason action with the Chiefs last year.
More Owls in the NFL
From practice squads to current free agents, there are others Owls on the cusp of returning to active rosters. Find more detail on current contractual agreements and former Rice football players waiting for their next opportunity here.