A pair of Gopher rookies in the secondary had big games helping their teams to big win in Terell Smith and Jordan Howden. Add in another pair of great games from linebackers Blake Cashman and Jack Gibbons and the defenders rules the day in Week 5.
Rashod Bateman—WR Baltimore Ravens
Daniel Faalele—OL—Baltimore Ravens
Week 5 @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 6 vs Tennessee Titans (London)
Bateman returned from his hamstring injury to play 27 offensive snaps. He was targeted three times but made one catch for 8 yards in the loss to the Steelers.
Faalele played 22 offensive snaps and a pair of special teams snaps.
Terrell Smith—CB—Chicago Bears
Week 5 @ Washington Commanders (Thursday)
Week 6 vs Minnesota Vikings
Smith started for the second week in a row and played 54 defensive snaps (77%) He recorded six tackles, three of them solo and had the 6th highest PFF grade of any rookie last week with a 77.3 rating.
De’ Vondre Campbell—LB—Green Bay Packers
Week 5 @ Las Vegas Raiders (Monday)
Week 6 BYE
Campbell did not play again due to his leg injury.
Blake Cashman—LB—Houston Texans
Eric Murray—S—Houston Texans
Week 5 @ Atlanta Falcons
Week 6 vs New Orleans Saints
Cashman was back in a starting role this week playing 74 defensive snaps and five special teams snaps. He recorded nine tackles, five of them solo, two for a loss and had one QB hit.
Murray played ten snaps on defense and 14 on special teams. He made one solo tackle.
Jordan Howden—S—New Orleans Saints
Week 5 @ New England Patriots
Week 6 @ Houston Texans
Howden returned to action from a finger injury in the Saints 34-0 win over New England. He made just one tackle and had a pair of pass defenses, but it was enough to get him the second highest rookie PFF ranking of the week at 86.8.
Carter Coughlin—LB New York Giants
John Michael Schmitz-C-New York Giants
Week 5 @ Miami Dolphins
Week 6 @ Buffalo Bills (SNF)
Coughlin played 21 special teams snaps and recorded a solo special teams tackle.
Schmitz did not play due to his shoulder injury.
Boye Mafe—DL—Seattle Seahawks
Week 5 BYE
Week 6 @ Cincinnati Bengals
Mafe and the Seahawks had a bye.
Ko Kieft—TE—Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Antoine Winfield, JR—S-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 5 BYE
Week6 vs Detroit Lions
The Buccaneers were on their bye last week.
Jack Gibbens—LB—Tennessee Titans
Week 4 vs Cincinnati Bengals
Week 5 @ Indianapolis Colts
Gibbons played 52 defensive snaps and another 12 on special teams. He recorded ten tackles and made seven of them solo.
Benjamin St. Juste—CB—Washington Commanders
Week 5 vs Chicago Bears (Thursday)
Week 6 @ Atlanta Falcons
St. Juste played all 64 defensive snaps in the loss to the Bears. He made three tackles, all of them solo and had a pair of pass defenses.