Pick 6: Super subs who served as 'next man up'

Pick 6: Super subs who served as 'next man up'
October 25, 2013, 3:28 am
Share This Post

Buffalo Bills quarterback Thad Lewis (9) looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

(APWF)

After delivering three sacks to help the Green Bay Packers overcome the absences of hurt linebackers Clay Matthews and Brad Jones, A.J. Hawk proudly declared, ''It's kind of been our motto for a long time around here: `Next man up.'''

Real original, A.J.

When Chicago Bears rookie Jonathan Bostic filled in at middle linebacker after D.J. Williams was lost for the season, coach Marc Trestman opined: ''He's in the `next man up' situation.''

When New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo went on injured reserve, backup Dane Fletcher explained: ''Our defense knows what we have to do. It's always `next man up.'''

And when Dallas Cowboys pass-rusher extraordinaire DeMarcus Ware's consecutive-games streak was about to end at 134 because of an injury, cornerback Brandon Carr noted that missing such a key player hurts the team, ''But at the same time, it's the `next man up' mentality.''

Those examples are all from the past few weeks alone. Yes, NFL coaches and players love to use a certain cliche when discussing the importance of adequately replacing sidelined players. Last weekend was filled with images of guys being driven off NFL fields on carts, and now we'll start to see how the ''next man up'' does replacing Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, Colts receiver Reggie Wayne, Texans linebacker Brian Cushing and others.

Here's a Pick 6 of some of this season's super subs so far:

HARRY DOUGLAS, WR, FALCONS: Until now, Douglas was the unknown receiver for Atlanta, a No. 3 lost behind Julio Jones and Roddy White. But with Jones done for the season after foot surgery, and White missing a game for the first time in his career because of a hamstring problem, Douglas got his chance last week against Tampa Bay. He came through, too, catching all seven passes Matt Ryan threw his way for a career-high 149 yards, including a 37-yard TD, during Atlanta's 31-23 win.

GEORGE SELVIE, DE, COWBOYS: A fourth-year journeyman who didn't even sign with the Cowboys until injuries had cropped up four days into training camp, Selvie suddenly found himself getting significant playing time - and even starting. With Ware out, Selvie contributed 1 1/2 sacks in last weekend's 17-3 victory at the Philadelphia Eagles that put Dallas alone atop the NFC East. He's second on the team with 4 1/2 sacks this season.

JULIAN EDELMAN, WR, PATRIOTS: Edelman already has topped career-best numbers for catches (46) and yards receiving (455), providing a rare experienced target for Tom Brady and helping make up for Danny Amendola's absences because of a groin injury and concussion. With Rob Gronkowski hurt until last week, too, and Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez gone, Edelman's been a rare bright spot for a receiving corps filled with rookies.

THAD LEWIS, QB, BILLS: Buffalo finally had reason to be optimistic about a young quarterback when rookie EJ Manuel showed early signs of being ready to succeed - until, that is, he sprained his right knee. So Lewis was called up from the practice squad and showed quite a bit of poise with two fourth-quarter touchdown passes in what would turn out to be an overtime loss to Cincinnati, then led Buffalo past the Miami Dolphins 23-21, ending a six-game losing streak on the road.

JOIQUE BELL, RB, LIONS: When key offseason addition Reggie Bush sat out with a knee injury in Week 3, Bell got to start, and contributed 63 yards rushing and 69 yards receiving as Detroit ended a 21-year road losing streak against the Redskins. In all this season, Bell is second on the Lions to Bush with 204 yards rushing, second to Calvin Johnson with 26 catches, and his three TDs on the ground are one more than the entire rest of the roster combined.

BRIAN HOYER, QB, BROWNS: When starter Brandon Weeden sprained his right thumb in Week 2, Hoyer jumped from No. 3 on the depth chart to No. 1. Finally getting a chance to play after five years as an NFL backup, Hoyer proceeded to lead Cleveland to two victories in a row. And then, in Hoyer's third start - which would become yet another victory for the Browns - he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, requiring season-ending surgery. Weeden got his job back, but was awful again, so now it's Jason Campbell's turn to show whether he can capably fill in, starting Sunday at the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs.

---

AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner contributed.

---

Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Texans - Team News
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 9. He's ready to go as Arian Foster's caddie against the Eagles.
Oct 31 2:55PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) is listed as probable for Week 9. He'll be all systems go against the Eagles' solid run defense.
Oct 31 2:54PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 9. Johnson is a legitimate WR1 against the Eagles' inconsistent secondary.
Oct 31 2:53PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (illness) is expected to miss Week 9 against the Eagles. Updating a previous item, Clowney appears to be over his early-season knee injury. But he is dealing with an illness. Clowney's absence is an upgrade to Nick Foles'...
Oct 31 1:11PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Arian Foster's caddie is in no danger of missing Week 9.
Oct 30 3:41PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. Johnson was never in any danger of missing Sunday's game against the Eagles. With six teams on bye for Week 9, Johnson is a WR1.
Oct 30 3:40PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. The Texans are just managing their superstar back's reps. With DeMarco Murray facing the Cardinals' elite run defense, there's a case to be made for Foster as Week 9's No. 1...
Oct 30 3:39PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. Blue got first-team reps with Arian Foster (knee) not practicing. The Texans also held out Andre Johnson (ankle) on Wednesday.
Oct 29 5:15PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps for rest purposes. He didn't suffer any setbacks last week and should be fine for Sunday's game against the Eagles.
Oct 29 3:43PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) did not practice Wednesday. It's a new injury for Foster. Coming off his three-touchdown performance, it's possible the Texans are getting him some rest. Foster will be a top-three running back in Week...
Oct 29 3:18PM Read More
Zac Diles - LB
Texans signed LB Zac Diles. CB Elbert Mack was waived in a corresponding roster move. Diles' addition is a sign the Texans aren't expecting Brian Cushing (knee) back for Week 9.
Oct 28 4:04PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham was held without a catch in the Texans' Week 8 win over Tennessee. Graham was targeted just one time on the day, a seam shot from Ryan Fitzpatrick that predictably fell incomplete. Graham has been a very minor part of the offense, making...
Oct 26 4:53PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 55 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Johnson saw a team-high dozen targets. He was followed by Titans top CB Jason McCourty for much of the afternoon, leaving DeAndre Hopkins to work on sophomore Blidi...
Oct 26 4:44PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught five passes for 95 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Hopkins was targeted 11 times compared to 12 for Andre Johnson. Hopkins picked up chunk yards on all of his grabs, and was stopped at the five-yard line on one grab where...
Oct 26 4:24PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Blue added a 22-yard catch. With the Texans clobbering the Titans late and Arian Foster having already piled up 173 yards and three touchdowns, Blue got plenty of run late...
Oct 26 4:11PM Read More

More Team Talk