Another week has passed in the 2018 NFL season and with it went more storylines pertaining to former Longhorns. Here are two notable ones:
In the NFL, opportunities come and go in the blink of an eye. One minute, a player will crack the starting lineup for the first time all season, finally being presented with the chance to show what they’re made of, and one hit later, that player’s season is over. That’s what happened to former Longhorn quarterback Colt McCoy during the Washington Redskins’ 28-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday.
McCoy’s short stint as the starting quarterback in Washington came to an end when he suffered a fractured fibula in the second quarter. The injury came just two weeks after Washington lost its primary starter, Alex Smith, for the season, leaving them with just third string quarterback, Mark Sanchez, remaining.
McCoy is currently under contract for next season, but none of the $3 million owed to him is guaranteed, meaning the team can release him if they are not happy with the progress he has made on his recovery from the injury by the time training camp begins. It seems unlikely that he will lose his spot on the team, having proven himself as a reliable backup, but there is a world where that ends up being the case.
Of all the former Longhorns currently carving out careers for themselves in the NFL, Adrian Phillips has had the most surprising 2018. After being given a new role on the Los Angeles Chargers defense — now more of a sort of pseudo-linebacker than a safety — Phillips has had his most successful season to date.
Despite being woefully undersized compared to most players playing in the box, Phillips plays with a tenacity that has allowed him to be one of the most important players on one of the league’s best defenses. Phillips has been effective covering running backs and tight ends in the passing game, as you would expect from a safety-turned-linebacker.
His ability was on full display during the Chargers’ recent win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. While this game will be remembered for its unprecedented conclusion — finishing with a Chargers game-winning field goal after three straight offsides penalties committed by the Steelers — Phillips will remember it as one of the best games of his career. He tied his season high for total tackles during this game, finishing with nine.
Phillips’ production has been very effective despite playing on just a one year, $1.5 million contract. Whether it be by the Chargers or another team who properly values his skill set, Phillips will likely receive the highest payday of his career this offseason.