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Duke in the NFL: Crowder hopes to improve with new quarterback at the helm

<p>Jamison Crowder posted 98 yards on six catches in Sunday's win over the Cowboys.</p>

Jamison Crowder posted 98 yards on six catches in Sunday's win over the Cowboys.

As the NFL regular season kicks off this Thursday, let’s take a look at the roles former Blue Devils will look to play on their respective teams. 

Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins  

As the Redskins transition to a new quarterback in Alex Smith, traded from the Kansas City Chiefs in February, Crowder will be looking for a fresh start as well. After posting career numbers across all receiving statistics in 2016, he slightly regressed in the 2017 season as he nursed a lingering hamstring injury. Crowder earned high praise throughout training camp for looking “extremely comfortable” with Smith, but before fans could see any in-game action, a groin injury unfortunately held him out of the team’s first three preseason games. He returned to practice last week and by all appearances, should be ready for the Redskins’ Week 1 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.  

Laken Tomlinson, G, San Francisco 49ers  

Traded before the 2017 season to the 49ers after a disappointing stint with the Detroit Lions, Tomlinson impressed in the 15 games he started, particularly after Jimmy Garoppolo became the starting quarterback. His continuous improvement and work ethic landed him a three-year contract in June worth up to $18 million, with $10 million guaranteed. He’ll look to anchor the left guard position on the 49ers’ new-look offensive line alongside veteran Joe Staley, new free-agent Weston Richburg, 2016 first-round guard Joshua Garnett and rookie first-round right tackle Mike McGlinchey as they take on the Minnesota Vikings.  

Vincent Rey, LB, Cincinnati Bengals  

After leading the Bengals in tackles in 2017 as he filled in for injured starter Vontaze Burfict, Rey will return to his perennial backup role this year. Entering his ninth season, the thirty-year-old will look to continue to be a veteran leader and mentor on the Bengals’ strong linebacker core as the team takes on the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday.  

Ross Cockrell, CB, Carolina Panthers  

After signing a two-year contract in March, Cockrell unfortunately suffered a broken left tibia and fibula during training camp, which required surgery. He was placed on injured reserve Aug. 1. 

Jeremy Cash, LB, Arizona Cardinals  

After being claimed off waivers by the Cardinals in March, Cash’s 2018 season came to a disappointing conclusion after he tore both his ACL and MCL during the team’s preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers. He had previously returned a fumble for a touchdown during the game before later being carted off the field. Originally on track to make the 53-man roster as a backup and special teams player, he was placed on injured reserve and waived Aug. 13 to make room for linebacker Gerald Hodges.  



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