After rallying the Pittsburgh Steelers to a victory this past weekend, Devlin Hodges was named starting quarterback for Sunday’s home game against the Cleveland Browns.
Hodges came on in relief of Mason Rudolph in the third quarter last Sunday with the Bengals leading 7-3. On his second pass attempt of the game, he hit James Washington for a 79-yard touchdown and Pittsburgh never trailed again.
Hodges, a 23-year-old undrafted rookie out of Samford, was named Southern Conference player of the year three times. He started Oct. 13 against the Los Angeles Chargers and was 15-of-20 passing for 132 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers’ 24-17 road victory.
He was 5 of 11 in the second half against the Bengals for 118 yards and a score as the Steelers earned a 16-10 victory in a defensive struggle while improving to 6-5.
–The Baltimore Ravens lost center Matt Skura for the remainder of the season after he came away from Monday night’s 45-6 win against the Los Angeles Rams with a knee injury, NFL Network reported.
Skura played just 16 snaps before he was carted off the field as the Ravens offense got off to a torrid start against the Rams. Without Skura, the Ravens did not skip a beat, scoring touchdowns on their first six possessions of the game — the first time a team accomplished that feat since 2008.
Skura, in his third season out of Duke, has started all 39 games of his NFL career. He made 12 starts in his rookie season of 2017 before starting in every Ravens game since. The 26-year old was second in AFC Pro Bowl voting at center.
–Lamar Jackson’s dominating performance for the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night, when he threw for five touchdown passes against the Los Angeles Rams, has moved the quarterback into heavy-favorite territory to win the NFL Most Valuable Player award.
According to DraftKings, Jackson is now listed at -230 to win the NFL’s top individual prize just over one week after he first became the betting favorite. After a Week 11 victory over the Houston Texans, when he threw four touchdown passes, Jackson was listed at +170.
Jackson was listed at 10,000-to-1 odds for the MVP award when the Ravens reported to training camp this summer. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is now listed at +300; he was +200 following Week 11.
–The Tennessee Titans placed defensive end Cameron Wake on injured reserve, ending a disappointing season early for the former Pro Bowl pass rusher.
The 11-year veteran Wake left the Titans’ game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday with an undisclosed injury and missed the rest of the game. Wake, 37, started the season with a flourish, notching 2.5 sacks in his Titans debut in Week 1 at Cleveland. But he has not recorded one since.
Despite the sack drought this season, Wake still ranks third among active players with 100.5 career sacks. He also has 358 career tackles (278 solo) and 22 forced fumbles, seventh among current players.
–The New England Patriots have released veteran offensive tackle Jared Veldheer off the injured-reserve/retired list, according to a report by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Veldheer, who announced his retirement in May just a week after signing with the Patriots, is reportedly “in shape” and looking to be a late-season addition to a team in need of an offensive lineman, according to Rapoport.
In an interview earlier this summer on MLive.com, the 32-year-old Veldheer said he chose to retire due to the toll that injuries have taken on his body, including a hip issue.
–The Jacksonville Jaguars signed veteran safety Marcus Gilchrist to their active roster and placed linebacker Najee Goode on injured reserve.
Gilchrist, in his ninth year, has played 123 career games (98 starts) and recorded a total of 495 tackles (376 solo) with 39 passes defensed, 14 interceptions and four sacks. Most recently, he was signed by the Detroit Lions in October and cut just two days later.
In addition, Jacksonville signed safety Doug Middleton to the practice squad, and in a corresponding move, released rookie defensive back Jordan Brown.
–Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was among three additions to the list of 25 semifinalists to be considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2020 class.
Former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne and former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis also made the list, which will be cut to 15 on Jan. 2.
The 2020 class will be announced Feb. 1, the day before Super Bowl LIV at Miami. The 2020 enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for Canton, Ohio, in August.