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Minnesota Football: Gophers in the NFL—Week 1

Lots of Gophers action in Week 1

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 NFL season officially kicked off last week and with that do did the NFL careers of three Gopher rookies who saw their first official NFL game action. But the vets also showed out and proved why they are still in the league, or are well on their way to becoming stars in this league. Here is how the Gophers did in their Week 1 games, and a look ahead to Week 2.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Week 1 @ Dallas Cowboys

Week 2 @ New Orleans Saints

Antoine Winfield Jr—CB

Winfield was back to his old tricks on the Tampa defense intercepting Dak Prescot in the second quarter of the Buccaneers win over Dallas.

He would play all 69 snaps on defense and record six tackles with five of them solo and add an additional pass defense on top of his interception. Not bad for Week 1.

Ko Kieft—TE

Welcome to the NFL Ko Kieft. The rookie saw 16 snaps in his first NFL game and was a monster run blocking at times in the game including creating some huge holes for Leonard Fournette on one of the Buc’s drives. He lined up as a fullback several times and helped the Buccaneers offensively. He will see plenty more playing time over the course of the season.

This next one sure looks oftly familiar...

Houston Texans

Week 1 vs Indianapolis Colts

Week 2 @ Denver Broncos

Eric Murray—S

Murray was dressed for the game but did not play a snap in the game.

Tyler Johnson—WR

Johnson was inactive as he continues to learn the Houston playbook after joining the Texans on waivers during final cuts.

Blake Cashman- LB

Cashman recorded a pair of tackles including one solo tackle on special teams, but did not play any snaps on defense for the Texans in their tie.

Baltimore Ravens

Week 1 @ New York Jets

Week 2 vs Miami Dolphins

Rashod Bateman—WR

The first Gopher NFL touchdown of the season went to the now #7 on a gorgeous bomb from Lamar Jackson.

Bateman would play 37 offensive snaps, the most of any Ravens wide out. He finished the game with two catches for 59 yards on five targets in an easy 24-9 win.

Danielle Faalele—OT

Faalele dressed for the game but did not see any action for the Ravens in their win.

Carolina Panthers

Week 1 vs Cleveland Browns

Week 2 @ New York Giants

Damien Wilson-LB

Wilson played 31 snaps for the Panthers in their loss to the Browns on Sunday and had four tackles, two solo and one of those was a sack of Browns QB Jacoby Brissett.

Minnesota Vikings

Week 1 vs Green Bay Packers

Week 2 @ Philadelphia Eagles (MNF)

Esezi Otemewo-DE

Ezezi was inactive for the Vikings game and did not dress.

Green Bay Packers

Week 1 @ Minnesota Vikings

Week 2 vs Chicago Bears

De’vondre Campbell-LB

Campbell played all 62 defensive snaps for the Packers on Sunday, but they weren’t great snaps as Green Bay would lose to the Vikings. He did pick right up again where he left off in 2021 leading the team with 11 tackles, 5 of them solo and one a tackle for loss. Unfortunately for him his secondary teammates didn’t help out much.

Washington Commanders

Week 1 vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 2 @ Detroit Lions

Benjamin St. Juste—CB

St. Juste played 61 of the 70 total defensive snaps for the Commanders in their win over the Jags. He recorded four tackles, all solo and a QB hit on Trevor Lawrence that forced an intentional grounding penalty.

Seattle Seahawks

Week 1 vs Denver Broncos-MNF

Week 2 @ San Francisco 49ers

Boye Mafe-DE

The rookie made his NFL debut and played 19 snaps for the Seahawk defense that seems to befuddle Russell Wilson repeatedly Monday night. But Mafe did not record a stat in his 19 snaps.

New York Giants

Week 1 @ Tennessee Titans

Week 2 vs Carolina Panthers

Carter Coughlin—LB

Coughlin dressed but did not see any defensive snaps or record any special teams stats in the Giants win over the Titans.

Arizona Cardinals

Week 1 vs Kansas City Chiefs

Week 2 @ Las Vegas Raiders

Maxx Williams-TE

Williams is coming back off his horrific injury a year ago and played 10 snaps for the Cardinals in their blowout loss to KC. He didn’t record a stat.