Rice Football is well represented on 2020 NFL rosters. Here’s the latest from the NFL Owls in action in Week 17.
There are former Rice football players scattered across the NFL. Stay tuned each week for their game results and notables from each player. Playoff matchups have been notated. Three Rice football alums are on playoff teams this year.
Week 17 results
Baltimore def. Cincinnati (Covington), 38-3
Cleveland (Sendejo) def. Pittsburgh (Boswell, McDonald), 24-22
Las Vegas def. Denver (Anderson, Callahan), 32-31
Minnesota def. Detroit (Fox), 37-35
Tennessee def. Houston (Gaines), 41-38
Seattle def. San Francisco (Walter), 26-23
Wildcard Round Schedule
Cleveland (Sendejo) at Pittsburgh (Boswell, McDonald) – Sunday at 7:15 p.m. CT
Calvin Anderson – OT, Broncos
Week 17 marks completed a full 17 game run for Anderson with the Broncos this season. He played in every game, making two starts and contributing weekly on special teams. The Broncos did not qualify for the playoffs.
Vance McDonald – TE, Steelers
McDonald saw an uptick in activity as a pass catcher in the Steelers’ Week 17 game against the Browns. He caught five passes on six targets for 33 yards. That’s the most receptions and targets he’s had this season and the most yards he’s tallied since a Week 4 game against the Texans when he had 35 yards.
He finishes the regular season with 15 receptions for 99 yards. This was the first year since 2014 in which he did not score a touchdown. The Steelers won the AFC North and will be the No. 3 seed for the AFC in the playoffs. They get a rematch with the Browns in the Wildcard Round.
Austin Walter – RB, 49ers
Walter was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list this week in time for the 49ers’ final game of the 2020 season. He returned two kickoffs against the Seahawks, with a long return of 18 yards.
After signing with the team midseason, Walter tallied five kick returns, one rush for three yards and one reception for 27 yards. The 49ers did not qualify for the playoffs.
Defense and Special Teams
Chris Boswell – K, Steelers
For the third time in five games, Boswell was inactive because of injury. Instead, Matthew Wright handled field goal duties for the Steelers.
Boswell’s regular season stat line was impressive. He converted on 19 of 20 field goal attempts, with his lone miss coming beyond 40 yards. He made 34 of 38 extra point tries. The Steelers won the AFC North and will be the No. 3 seed for the AFC in the playoffs. They get a rematch with the Browns in the Wildcard Round.
Bryce Callahan – CB, Broncos
Callahan’s last game of the season came in Week 12 against the Saints, landing on injured reserve with a foot injury for the remainder of the year.
When he was healthy, Callahan was one of the best cover corners in the league. He had five passes defended, one shy of a career-high even with his shortened season. He also had one fumble recovery and one tackle for a loss on 42 tackles. Per Pro Football Reference, he was the allowed third-lowest passer rating in the league when targeted. The Broncos did not qualify for the playoffs.
Christian Covington – DL, Bengals
Covington had a season-high six tackles in the Bengals’ Week 17 regular season finale against the Ravens, giving him 39 tackles for the year, a career-best. Covington started 14 of the Bengals’ 16 games. Coming into the season, he’d started 15 games in five seasons, spanning stints with the Texans and Cowboys. The Bengals did not qualify for the playoffs.
Jack Fox – P, Lions
Fox finishes a Pro Bowl season among the league leaders in most punting statistics. He ranks third in punting average, second in net punting and tied for sixth with 26 punts inside the 20 yard line. He punted 59 times this season. The Lions did not qualify for the playoffs.
Phillip Gaines – CB, Texans
Gaines was inactive for the Texans’ final game against the Titans in Week 17. He finishes 2020 with 12 appearances, the most he’s had in a single season since 2014 when he was with the Chiefs. Gaines had one pass defended this season and 24 tackles, making two starts. The Texans did not qualify for the playoffs.
Andrew Sendejo – Saf, Browns
Sendejo missed the Browns’ regular season finale against the Steelers after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier in the week. His status for the Browns’ playoff game is unknown.
During the regular season, Sendejo accumulated 67 tackles, his highest mark since making 80 tackles in 2017. He also had two passes defended and one forced fumble. The Browns clinched a wildcard berth. They get a rematch with the Steelers in the Wildcard Round.
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.
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- Rice Football 2020: NFL Owls Wildcard Round update