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NFL Primer: Getting You Prepped for the Return of Pro Football

The NFL season is finally upon us.




The long-awaited 2020 NFL season kicks off on Thursday. So to get you ready for the weekend, here’s a look at those Oklahoma State alums that are on active NFL rosters, along with how you can watch them, in Week 1.

James Washington | Pittsburgh Steelers

While it may not benefit his fellow OSU alum (more on that below), the return of Ben Roethlisberger should benefit James Washington in 2020.

The former Biletnikoff winner has shown flashes of his abilities on Sundays, but he needs to take a step forward and prove himself a legit option in Year 3.

As a rookie, Washington was buried beneath the likes of Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster in targets. Last season the QB spot was a revolving door that collectively accounted for a No. 31 finish (out of 32 teams) in passing offense and passer rating — but Washington still put up a respectable 735 yards and three scores. It would stand to reason that his numbers should go up with the returning stability Big Ben brings behind center.

Mason Rudolph | Pittsburgh Steelers

After what can best be described as a roller coaster season, Rudolph has been relegated back to clipboard duties.

While a move to the sideline was expected, the more daunting development in the story occurred Sunday when the Steelers released Devlin Hodges, making room to bring back Josh Dobbs. Hodges was quickly signed to Pittsburgh’s practice squad.

Rudolph had edged out both at different times for the No. 2 spot, but it will be interesting to see how the QB depth chart shakes out as the season goes on.

Week 1 Matchup: @ New York Giants
When: 6:10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14
Watch: ESPN

Chris Carson | Seattle Seahawks

Carson is coming off back-to-back finishes as the No. 5 rusher in the NFL. He comes into Year 4 as the unquestioned starter for an exciting Seahawks offense that runs the ball a lot. If he can stay healthy, expect another big year from Carson.

Tre Flowers | Seattle Seahawks

During Flowers’ first two years he was not without his growing pains after converting from college safety for NFL cornerback, but he’s has managed to start all 30 games of his career over his first two seasons. Experience and the addition of all-pro safety Jamal Adams to Seattle’s defensive backfield should help Flowers’ development.

Flowers’ status for Week 1 is a little up in the air as he is working through a mild ankle sprain.

Week 1 Matchup: @ Atlanta Falcons
When: 12 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13
Watch: FOX

Justice Hill | Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens were — by far — the best rushing offense in the NFL last season, but Hill, the rookie RB, found himself buried in the depth chart beneath the likes of Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards — all while QB Lamar Jackson was actually the team’s top rusher. Hill mustered just 225 yards and two scores in 16 games.

Now the RB room is even more crowded after the Ravens added former Ohio State rusher J.K. Dobbins during this year’s draft. Justice is penciled in at No. 3 above Dobbins in the Ravens’ Week 1 depth chart, but the pressure will be on the second-year back to perform when given the opportunity.

Week 1 Matchup: vs. Cleveland Browns
When: 12 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13
Watch: CBS

Blake Jarwin | Dallas Cowboys

With Jason Witten off to the Raiders, the path is cleared for the former OSU walk-on to grasp Dallas’ top tight end spot. When given looks he’s been the most consistent and productive TE on the Cowboys roster over the last two seasons. Look for Jarwin to have a big year in 2020.

But don’t just take it from me. Here’s what his QB had to say recently.

Week 1 Matchup: @ Los Angeles Rams
When: 7:20 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13
Watch: NBC

Emmanuel Ogbah | Miami Dolphins

E-Man missed the entirety of his Chiefs’ Super Bowl run last season after a torn pectoral muscle landed him on IR in November. He’ll still get a ring but Ogbah has taken his talents to South Beach after signing with the Dolphins as a free agent this offseason.

He’s healthy now and is apparently back to wreaking havoc in the backfield, according to reports from Dolphins’ practice where he’s traded chasing around Pat Mahomes for chasing around Tua Tagovailoa.

Week 1 Matchup: @ New England Patriots
When: 12 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13
Watch: CBS
Lane Taylor | Green Bay Packers

The veteran right guard looks to be in good shape heading into the final year of his four-year contract.

Week 1 Matchup: at Minnesota Vikings
When: 12 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13
Watch: FOX

Russell Okung | Carolina Panthers

The former first-round pick and Super Bowl champ is set to debut with the Panthers this Sunday. Okung missed a chunk of last season with a pulmonary embolism, but when he got healthy he proved he still had what it takes to protect Philip Rivers’ blindside. Now he’ll attempt to the same for a QB group headlined by Teddy Bridgewater.

Week 1 Matchup: vs. Las Vegas Raiders
When: 12 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13
Watch: CBS

Kevin Peterson | Arizona Cardinals

The fast-talking former OSU cornerback showed Kliff Kingsbury enough last season to earn another year with the Cardinals. After appearing in 14 games and starting three for Arizona in 2019, he was one of just four cornerbacks the team retained when the roster was trimmed to 53 on Saturday.

Week 1 Matchup: @ San Francisco 49ers
When: 3:25 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13
Watch: FOX

Dan Bailey | Minnesota Vikings

The former OSU kicker rebounded from a down first year with the Vikings (for him) in 2018 by turning in his best field-goal percentage in four seasons in 2019. Now entering his 10th season in the league, Bailey had a chance to add to his already impressive career accolades.

Week 1 Matchup: vs. Green Bay Packers
When: 12 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13
Watch: FOX

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