Tar Heels in NFL: Hollins shows play-making skills in Raiders’ win; Carter snags longest career reception in Jets win, likely to start again after Hall injury

By R.L. Bynum

Las Vegas wide receiver Mack Hollins was questionable to play Sunday because of a heel injury, but the Tar Heel once again showed that he’s a proven play-maker in the NFL while showing off his personality along the way.

Another Tar Heel, New York Jets running back Michael Carter, should be a starter again and see his playing time rise after a season-ending injury to a talented rookie running back.

Hollins, who played all 56 offensive snaps, caught a game-tying 26-yard touchdown pass in the last minute of the first half as the host Las Vegas Raiders went on to an easy 38–20 victory Sunday over the Houston Texans.

Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr found Hollins speeding up the middle of the field, and the sixth-year pro split two Texans defenders to snag the high-velocity pass at the goal line for his second touchdown reception of the season.

Hollins, halfway to equalling his career-high of four touchdown receptions last season with the Miami Dolphins, celebrated at every opportunity, even when Houston was called for an offside infraction.

Hollins gives the Raiders (2–4) a valuable second passing target for Carr to go with Pro Bowler Davante Adams, who caught eight passes on nine targets for 95 yards. Hollins made the most of his three targets, catching the scoring pass and getting a catch on a trick play.

Offensive lineman Charlie Heck (6 offensive snaps and five special-teams snaps) and M.J. Stewart Jr. (22 special-teams snaps) played off the bench for Houston.

The Jets’ 16–5 win at Denver was costly because rookie running back Bryce Hall suffered what the team says is an ACL injury in the second quarter and is out for the season. That should mean that Carter will return to the starting role he relinquished to Hall two weeks ago.

Hall entered the game with 609 rushing yards, the most by a Jet since Curtis Martin in 2004, and had 72 yards on four carries before getting hurt.

Carter, who started the first five games this season, ran for 29 yards on a season-high 13 carries and caught both passes targeted to him for 45 reception yards.

He caught a short pass from quarterback Zach Wilson and ran 35 yards down the left sideline after the catch on a first-and-25 in the second quarter. The career-long 37-yard reception bettered his 40-yard catch against Baltimore in Week 1 as the Jets moved to 5–2.

With starting quarterback Carson Wentz on injured reserve with a broken finger, Washington rookie Sam Howell was in uniform and active for a regular-season game for the first time in his NFL career.

But Taylor Heinicke started at quarterback in the Commanders’ 23–21 home upset of the Green Bay, and Howell never got into the game. Heinicke was 20 of 33 for 201 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and one sack for an 85.5 passer rating.


Linebacker Cole Holcomb led the way on defense for Washington with five tackles and four assists, as that unit held Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to 23 of 35 passing for 194 yards, two touchdowns and a 99.0 passer rating.

Two weeks after Commanders wide receiver Dyami Brown caught two touchdown passes and had 105 reception yards against Tennessee, he wasn’t active for the Packers game because of a groin injury.

On Thursday, left tackle James Hurst played all 72 offensive snaps and six special-teams snaps for New Orleans in the Saints’ 42–34 road loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

After playing 50 offensive snaps in the first six games, rookie offensive guard Joshua Ezeudu was in for 61 snaps at left guard in the New York Giants’ 23–17 victory at Jacksonville. He entered the game in relief of starting left guard Ben Bredeson, a third-year pro, who suffered a right knee injury with 5:20 left in the first quarter.

Linebacker Tomon Fox played 34 defensive snaps and seven on special teams.

Mitch Trubisky relieved rookie Kenny Pickett and helped the Steelers win last week against Tampa Bay. But Kenny Pickett cleared concussion protocols, started and played the whole way Sunday night in Pittsburgh’s 16–10 loss at Miami.

Pickett was 32 of 44 for 257 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, including two in the final two drives, against the Dolphins. Trubisky has only two interceptions on 128 pass attempts over five games this season.

Robert Quinn had one tackle for Chicago in the Bears’ 33–14 Monday night victory at New England.

Dyami Brown, Washington Commanders wide receiver
Age 22 | 6–0, 195 | second NFL season | UNC 2018–20

23–21 win vs. Green Bay Not active for the game with a groin injury
Season statistics — 6 games, 3 catches on 9 targets for 111 yards (37.0 average, 75 longest), 2 TDs; 1 special-teams assist
Up next — 4:25 Sunday at Indianapolis, Fox

Michael Carter, New York Jets running back
Age 23 | 5–8, 201 | second NFL season | UNC 2017–20

16–9 win at Denver — 13 carries, 29 yards (5 longest); 2 catches on 2 targets, 45 yards (37 longest); 9.4 fantasy points; 43 offensive snaps (73%)
Season statistics — 7 games, 5 starts; 66 carries, 228 yards (25 longest, 3.5 average), 2 TDs; 20 catches on 23 targets, 145 yards (37 longest)
Up next — 1 p.m. Sunday vs. New England, CBS

Joshua Ezeudu, New York Giants offensive lineman
Age 23 | 6–4, 308 | rookie NFL season | UNC 2018–21

23–17 win at Jacksonville — Played left guard off the bench; 61 offensive snaps (79%),5 special-teams snaps (23%)
Season statistics — 7 games; 111 offensive snaps, 136 special-teams snaps
Up next —
4:25 p.m. Sunday at Seattle, Fox

Tomon Fox, New York Giants linebacker
Age 24 | 6–3, 260 | rookie NFL season | UNC 2016–21

23–17 win at Jacksonville Played off the bench; 34 defensive snaps (48%), 7 special-teams snaps (32%)
Season statistics — 4 games; 4 tackles, 3 assists, 1 sack, 1 QB hit
Up next — 4:25 p.m. Sunday at Seattle, Fox

Charlie Heck, Houston Texans left tackle
Age 25 | 6–8, 311 | third NFL season | UNC 2015–19

38–20 loss at Las Vegas Played off the bench; reported as tackle-eligible five times; 6 offensive snaps (9%), 5 special-teams snaps
Season statistics — 5 games, 1 start; Through six games: 12 offensive snaps, 19 special-teams snaps
Up next — 4:05 p.m. Sunday vs. Tennessee, CBS

Cole Holcomb, Washington Commanders middle linebacker
Age 26 | 6–1, 240 | fourth NFL season| UNC 2015–18

23–21 win vs. Green Bay Started; 5 tackles, 4 assists, 7.0 fantasy points; 54 defensive snaps (100%)
Season statistics — 7 games, 7 starts; 37 tackles, 32 assists
Up next — 4:25 Sunday at Indianapolis, Fox

Mack Hollins, Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver
Age 29 | 6–4, 221 | sixth NFL season | UNC 2013–16

38–20 win vs. Houston 2 catches on 3 targets, 44 yards (26 longest), 1 TD; 12.4 fantasy points; 56 offensive snaps (100%), 3 special-teams snaps (11%)
Season statistics — 5 games, 3 starts; 1 of 1 passing, 4 yards; 16 catches on 23 targets, 284 yards (17.8 average, 60 longest), 2 TDs
Up next — 1 p.m. Sunday at New Orleans, CBS

Sam Howell, Washington Commanders quarterback
Age 22 | 6–1, 220 | rookie NFL season |UNC 2019–21

23–21 win vs. Green Bay Active in an NFL regular-season game for the first time but didn’t play
Season statistics — Hasn’t played
Up next — 4:25 Sunday at Indianapolis, Fox

James Hurst, New Orleans Saints tackle
Age 30 | 6–5, 310 | ninth NFL season | UNC 2010–13

42–34 Thursday loss at Arizona Started at left tackle; 72 offensive snaps (100%), 6 special-teams snaps (19%)
Season statistics — 7 games; 7 starts, 1 fumble recovery, 1 tackle on an interception return; 479 offensive snaps (100%), 24 special-teams snaps
Up next — 1 p.m. Sunday vs. Las Vegas, CBS

Robert Quinn, Chicago Bears defensive end
Age 32 | 6–4, 245 | 12th NFL season | UNC 2008–09

33–14 Monday win at New England Started; 1 tackle (which was for a loss); 32 defensive snaps (62%)
Season statistics — 7 games, 7 starts; 6 tackles (1 for a loss), 2 assists, 1 sack
Up next — 1 p.m. Sunday at Dallas, Fox

M.J. Stewart Jr., Houston Texans safety
Age 27 | 5–11, 200 | fifth NFL season | UNC 2014–17

38–20 loss at Las Vegas Played off the bench; 22 special-teams snaps (81%)
Season statistics —
5 games; 5 special-teams tackles, 3 special-teams assists
Up next —
4:05 p.m. Sunday vs. Tennessee, CBS

Mitchell Trubisky, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback
Age 28 | 6–2, 220 | sixth NFL season | UNC 2014–16

16–10 loss at Miami Didn’t play
Season statistics — 5 games, 4 starts; 78 of 138, 797 yards (36 longest), 3 TDs, 2 INTs, 5 sacks; 13 rushes, 29 yards
Up next — 1 p.m. Sunday at Philadelphia, CBS
Out for the season
Running back Javonte Williams, Denver (torn ACL in right knee); 4 games, 4 starts; 47 carries, 204 yards (4.3 average, 17 longest); 16 catches on 22 targets, 76 yards (4.8 average, 13 longest)
Suspended (violating performance-enhancing substance policy)
Linebacker Andre Smith, Buffalo (first game will be next Sunday vs. Green Bay)
On injured reserve
Running back Giovani Bernard, ankle injury, Tampa Bay (hasn’t played in regular season)
Running back Ty Chandler, Minnesota, broken thumb (2 games, 1 special-team assist)
On practice squads
Defensive lineman Jalen Dalton, Atlanta (re-signed with Falcons on Wednesday)
Cornerback Kyler McMichael, Buffalo
Linebacker Chazz Surratt, New York Jets (released by Minnesota)
Released after Week 3
Running back Antonio Williams, New York Giants
Released after Week 6
Defensive back Myles Dorn, Minnesota Vikings (3 games, 1 assist)
Released during camp and unsigned
Fullback Jake Bargas, Chicago (earlier by Minnesota)
Defensive tackle Aaron Crawford, Baltimore
Linebacker Jeremiah Gemmel, Denver (earlier by San Francisco)
Wide receiver Dazz Newsome, Chicago
Wide receiver Austin Proehl, New York Giants
Offensive tackle Jordan Tucker, Pittsburgh
Released from injured reserve with settlements
Tight end Bug Howard, Tampa Bay

Photo via @Raiders


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