Tar Heels in NFL: Trubisky keeps Steelers’ offense moving but makes damaging red-zone mistakes; Hollins has 62 total yards

By R.L. Bynum

When Pittsburgh rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett suffered a concussion in the first half Sunday, Mitchell Trubisky played for the first time since early October.

Trubisky had his moments, throwing for 276 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw three interceptions as the Steelers lost at home against the Baltimore Ravens 16–14.

Trubisky threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Pat Freiermuth with 2:30 left to pull Pittsburgh within two but Baltimore — playing without the injured Lamar Jackson — picked up a first down and ran out the clock.

“I wanted to go out there run the offense, obviously was aggressive, overly aggressive at times, which showed up with the turnovers,” Trubisky said. “But it’s great to be back out there with the guys. I appreciate everybody battling all four quarters. A lot of stuff I can do better. But, coming off the bench and just want to go in there and try to provide a spark. I thought we did a good job moving the ball, but I’ve got to protect the football, and that’s obvious.”

It was the second concussion for Pickett this season. Trubisky relieved him on Oct. 16 in a 20–18 home win over Tampa Bay, which was Trubisky’s last action before Sunday.

Trubisky consistently moved the ball down the field but made red-zone mistakes. Twice in the second quarter, he tried to find Freiermuth, but both passes resulted in interceptions.

“They did a good job of collisioning Pat at the line of scrimmage, which made his route take a little longer,” Trubisky said of the first interception. “I stuck with him; probably could have done a better job with my eyes looking off. But yeah, when it just takes a little longer for guys to get to the same spot [it’s tougher]. Linebacker made a good play.”

His third interception came midway through the third quarter when he threw into double coverage.

“We’re moving the ball, and I think the problem was I was turning it over down the red zone,” Trubisky said. “We’ve got to come up with points, at least field goals. When you give up the football three times to a good team and a good defense — they’re known for taking the ball away. I’ve just got to be smarter with my decisions and that forcing it down there.”

In his previous five games, including four starts, Trubisky only threw two interceptions. Sunday marked his second-worst quarterback rating of the season at 73.1.

“We definitely had a huge opportunity today; we know that,” Trubisky said. “We’ve got leaders emerging; the chemistry has been building over the course of the season. So we just continue to stick together, put our heads down and work, and we’ll get one next week.”

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin opted for Pickett over Trubisky during the Week 4 loss to the New York Jets.


Mack Hollins again showed his versatility in the Las Vegas Raiders’ 17–16 road loss Thursday night to the Los Angeles Rams.

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Hollins ran three times for 40 yards, including a 17-yard gain, in addition to catching two passes for 22 yards.


After missing last week’s game with an ankle injury, Michael Carter was back for the New York Jets, although he didn’t start. He had five carries for five yards and caught three passes for 15 yards in their 20–12 loss at Buffalo.

With the Jets trailing 20–9 midway through the fourth quarter, Carter fumbled it away to the Bills on a second-and-two at the Buffalo 28.

“Just trying to make a play. Understanding where we were at in the game, we kind of needed a touchdown. It opened up like Disney World, and I just tried to go score a touchdown,” said Carter, who then encountered Buffalo cornerback Taron Johnson. “I tried to run him over, tried to crank him up, and then he made a good play. A lot of credit to him.”

Carter got 50% of the snaps at running back for the Jets and former N.C. State running back Zonovan “Bam” Knight got 47%, but Knight had 17 carries for 77 yards.


In the New York Giants’ 48–22 home loss to Philadelphia, Tomon Fox played 32 total snaps with no statistics and Joshua Ezeudu missed his third consecutive game with a neck injury.

Eagles defensive end Robert Quinn went on injured reserve Tuesday with a knee injury. He twisted his knee in practice on Dec. 2 and will miss at least three more games. The Eagles are optimistic that he’ll return this season.


Offensive lineman Charlie Heck played eight total snaps off the bench for Houston in the Texans’ 27–23 loss at Dallas and M.J. Stewart Jr. defended one pass in 36 total snaps.


Myles Dorn rejoined the Minnesota Vikings and was elevated to the active roster Saturday. He played 14 special-teams snaps and had one special-teams tackle in their 34–23 loss at Detroit.


Giovani Bernard had no statistics, playing on only nine special-teams snaps, in the Tampa Bay Bucs’ 35–7 loss at San Francisco.


On Week 14 open dates were Washington (with Dyami Brown, Sam Howell and Cole Holcomb), Atlanta  (with Coach Arthur Smith and Jalen Dalton) and New Orleans (with James Hurst).

Giovani Bernard, Tampa Bay Bucs running back
Age 31 | 5–9, 205 | 10th NFL season | UNC 2011–12

35–7 loss at San Francisco No statistics in 9 special-teams snaps (43%)
Season statistics — 2 games, no statistics
Up next — 4:20 Sunday vs. Cincinnati, CBS


Dyami Brown, Washington Commanders wide receiver
Age 23 | 6–0, 195 | second NFL season | UNC 2018–20

Washington had a Week 14 open date
Season statistics — 10 games, 5 catches on 12 targets for 143 yards (28.6 average, 75 longest), 2 TDs; 1 special-teams assist
Up next — 8:20 Sunday vs. New York Giants, NBC


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

20–12 loss at Buffalo Didn’t start; 5 carries, 5 yards; 3 catches on 6 targets, 15 yards (7 longest), 1 fumble (lost); 37 offensive snaps (50%)
Season statistics — 12 games, 9 starts; 104 carries, 375 yards (25 longest, 3.6 average), 3 TDs; 31 catches on 41 targets, 224 yards (37 longest, 7.2 average)
Up next — 1 p.m. Sunday vs. Detroit, CBS


Jalen Dalton, Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle
Age 25 | 6–6, 300 | third NFL season | UNC 2015–18

The Falcons had a Week 14 open date
Season statistics — 4 games, 3 tackles, 4 assists
Up next — at New Orleans, 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox


Myles Dorn, Minnesota Vikings defensive back
Age 24 | 6–2, 210 | third NFL season | UNC 2016–19

34–23 loss at Detroit — 1 special-teams tackle; 14 special-teams snaps (48%)
Season statistics — 5 games, 1 tackle, 1 special-teams tackle
Up next — vs. Indianapolis, 1 p.m. Saturday, NFL Network


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

48–22 loss vs. Philadelphia — Wasn’t active for the third consecutive game because of a neck injury
Season statistics — 10 games, 2 starts; 245 offensive snaps, 136 special-teams snaps
Up next —
8:20 Sunday at Washington, NBC


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

48–22 loss vs. Philadelphia — Played with no statistics; 12 defensive snaps (18%), 20 special-teams snaps (65%)
Season statistics —
11 games, 2 starts; 7 tackles, 6 assists, 1 sack
Up next — 8:20 Sunday at Washington, NBC


Charlie Heck, Houston Texans left tackle
Age 26 | 6–8, 311 | third NFL season | UNC 2015–19

27–23 loss at Dallas Played off the bench; 4 offensive snaps (5%), 5 special-teams snaps (18%)
Season statistics — 12 games, 1 start; 23 offensive snaps, 37 special-teams snaps
Up next — 1 p.m. Sunday vs. Kansas City, CBS


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

17–16 Thursday loss at Los Angeles Rams — Started; 3 carries, 40 yards (17 longest); 2 catches on 4 targets, 22 yards (15 longest), 8.2 fantasy points; 58 offensive snaps (97%), 3 special-teams snaps (12%)
Season statistics — 13 games, 9 starts; 1 of 1 passing, 4 yards; 4 rush, 40 yards (10.0 average; 17 longest); 47 catches on 68 targets, 588 yards (12.5 average, 60 longest), 3 TDs
Up next — 4:05 Sunday vs. New England, Fox


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

Washington had a Week 14 open date
Season statistics — Hasn’t played
Up next — 8:20 Sunday vs. New York Giants, NBC


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

New Orleans had a Week 14 open date
Season statistics — 12 games; 12 starts, 1 fumble recovery, 1 tackle on an interception return; 737 offensive snaps, 26 special-teams snaps
Up next — 1 p.m. Sunday, vs. Atlanta, Fox


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

27–23 loss at Dallas — Played off bench, defended one pass; 13 defensive snaps (18%), 23 special-teams snaps (82%)
Season statistics —
13 games; 20 tackles, 4 assists, 1 tackle for a loss, 1 fumble recovery, 7 special-teams tackles, 3 special-teams assists
Up next —
1 p.m. Sunday vs. Kansas City, CBS


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

16–14 loss vs. Baltimore22 of 30, 276 yards (42 longest), 1 TD, 3 INTs, 1 sack, 73.1 QB rating, 12.04 fantasy points; 47 offensive snaps (85%)
Season statistics — 6 games, 4 starts; 200 of 168, 1,073 yards (42 longest), 4 TDs, 5 INTs, 6 sacks; 13 rushes, 29 yards
Up next — 1 p.m. Sunday at Carolina, 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)


On injured reserve

Running back Ty Chandler, Minnesota, broken thumb (2 games, 1 special-team assist)
Linebacker Cole Holcomb, Washington, foot injury (7 games, 7 starts; 37 tackles, 32 assists)
Defensive end Robert Quinn, Philadelphia, knee injury (12 games, 7 starts; 8 tackles (1 for a loss), 2 assists, 1 sack)


On practice squads

Fullback Jake Bargas, Miami Dolphins (signed Nov. 9; released in camp first by Vikings, then by Bears)
Defensive tackle Aaron Crawford, New York Giants (signed Nov. 9; Ravens released him during training cap)
Cornerback Kyler McMichael, Buffalo Bills
Linebacker Chazz Surratt, New York Jets (released by Minnesota)


Signed to practice squads, then released

Wide receiver Dazz Newsome, Kansas City (released earlier in camp by Chicago)


Released during camp and unsigned

Linebacker Jeremiah Gemmel, Denver (earlier by San Francisco)
Wide receiver Austin Proehl, New York Giants
Offensive tackle Jordan Tucker, Pittsburgh
Released from injured reserve with settlements
Tight end Bug Howard, Tampa Bay


Released after Week 3

Running back Antonio Williams, New York Giants


Released after Week 5

Linebacker Andre Smith, Buffalo Bills (hasn’t played; served a suspension for violating NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy)


Released after Week 6

Defensive back Myles Dorn, Minnesota Vikings (3 games, 1 assist)

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