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Duke in the NFL: Guards Lucas Patrick and Laken Tomlinson step up, Jamison Crowder struggles

Laken Tomlinson has been a reliable piece at offensive guard for the 49ers.
Laken Tomlinson has been a reliable piece at offensive guard for the 49ers.

Week 14 of the NFL season has concluded, and, with just four more weeks in the regular season, the Blue Zone takes a look at how Duke football alums are performing in the pros:

Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets

The Jets’ offense was massively short-handed this week, with receivers Elijah Moore and Corey Davis and running backs Tevin Coleman and Michael Carter ruled out for their matchup against the Saints. Jamison Crowder, however, was still unable to establish himself as a leader of the offense; the veteran lagged considerably behind receiver Braxton Berrios—who led the offense with ten targets and six receptions for 52 yards—with three receptions for 19 yards and zero touchdowns. The Jets’ offense struggled once again, this time failing to score any touchdowns, with their only scores being three Eddy Piñeiro field goals. With Elijah Moore landing on injured reserve and missing at least two more games, Jamison Crowder will need to step up if this Jets offense is to be revitalized.

Lucas Patrick, G, Green Bay Packers

The Packers' offensive line has been decimated this season, and they entered their primetime matchup versus their rival, the Chicago Bears, with three backups and a rookie on their offensive line, one of those backups being Lucas Patrick, starting at center. The offensive line took yet another hit during the game, with right tackle Billy Turner exiting the game after suffering a knee injury in the second quarter, leaving right guard Royce Newman as the only starter left. Impressively, the Packers were still able to roll over the Bears with a significant 45-30 win at home.

Laken Tomlinson, G, San Francisco 49ers

Laken Tomlinson made his 80th consecutive start with the 49ers in their game against the Bengals, assisting in an exciting 26-23 overtime win. This season, the veteran guard has been extremely consistent and reliable, ranking 12th in PFF overall grade among all offensive guards who have played at least half of their team's snaps. Still, Tomlinson is approaching free agency at the end of this season, and the 49ers face an important decision in considering whether or not to re-sign him.

Noah Gray, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

Even though the rookie tight end hauled in his first career touchdown in Week 10, Noah Gray is still finding his place within the Chiefs’ offense. Seeking their sixth consecutive win following a tough stretch, head coach Andy Reid developed a well-distributed offensive attack against the Raiders, with five receivers logging more than 25 yards. Star receiver Tyreek Hill lead the team with four receptions for 76 yards, with Mecole Hardman following him with two receptions for 59 yards. Gray took 39% of the team’s offensive snaps but was targeted zero times. 

Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants

Daniel Jones missed his second-straight game with the Giants after sustaining a neck injury in their Week 12 matchup against the Eagles, and it unfortunately looks like he will miss Sunday's game against the Cowboys as well. The third-year signal caller has been deemed week-to-week and has been undergoing exams with spinal surgeons in an attempt to pinpoint his exact injury. A source for CBS Sports said he is likely being examined for ligament damage or a bruised spinal cord, both injuries which could sideline Jones for the rest of the Giants' season.

Michael Carter II, CB, New York Jets

Rookie cornerback Michael Carter II was ruled out this week following a concussion sustained against the Eagles in Week 13.
 

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