For two former Mountaineers, this past week was a busy one. On Tuesday, Steve Slaton was cut by the Houston Texans. On Wednesday, Anthony Becht was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs. At the same time I was writing an article on Wednesday about Becht's release, Steve Slaton was claimed off waivers by the Miami Dolphins.
Slaton boarded a plane that afternoon, bound for a new start in Miami. Slaton was signed to add depth at RB for the Dolphins who signed former
Heisman Trophy winner New Orleans Saint, Reggie Bush in the off-season. The Dolphins running game has been nearly nonexistent. Bush, for all the hype, has 69 yards rushing on the season while trying to establish himself as an every down back. He has struggled, and the Dolphins leading rusher is Daniel Thomas with 202 rushing yards. Quarterback Chad Henne is actually 2nd on the team in rushing with 111 yards. The Dolphins rushing offense currently ranks 7th in the NFL and the front office hopes that Slaton can take that ranking higher.
Anthony Becht injured his hamstring in the Chiefs game last week at San Diego. The Chiefs need depth at TE with starter Tony Moeaki sidelined for the season with a torn ACL. Seeing that it could be several weeks before Becht would be healthy enough to play, the Chiefs signed Jake O'Connell to take Becht's spot on the roster. Management told Becht that when he is healthy enough, they may give him another look.
Now for the games this week:
NFL Schedule Involving Former Mountaineers
San Francisco 49ers @
1:00 p.m. FOX
Owen Schmitt carried the ball for the first time since 2008 last week against the Giants, tallying 4 carries for 6 yards. Schmitt was handed the ball twice in a goal-to-go situation during the 3rd quarter, both times proving unsuccessful at getting into the endzone. We will see if Schmitt sees the ball as frequently this week. When Schmitt is in the game on offense, he is used mainly to block. Also look for Schmitt on special teams. He had 1 tackle last week.
Buffalo Bills @
1:00 p.m. CBS
The Bills passing game runs a lot of multiple receiver sets. There is a chance that Robert Sands could be active in this game for the first time this season to help cover the extra receivers the Bills will throw at the Bengals Defense. Corey McIntyre had a key block on a goal-line situation last week against the New England Patriots to spring RB Fred Jackson for a TD. Look for more of the same from McIntyre this week.
Washington Redskins @
St. Louis Rams
1:00 p.m. FOX
Chris Neild entered the game early in the second quarter last week for the Redskins and immediately contributed with a tackle. He finished the game with two. The 'Pocono Punisher' as he is called, could continue to see his role on the team increase against the Rams. Neild earned a Game Ball from the Washington Times. Here is why:
Neild didn't dramatically change the game, but he played his role very well. His tireless effort is undeniable. One first-quarter play stood out. Dallas ran a screen pass to TE Martellus Bennett on the left. Cowboys C Phi Costa blocked Neild to the ground 4 yards in the backfield, but Neild got up and sprinted 10 yards back into the play and made the tackle. Later, on a first-and-10 early in the third quarter, Neild stood up LG Bill Nagy at the line of scrimmage, and RB DeMarco Murray ran directly into Nagy's back. The result: no gain. Neild continues to improve his technique and leverage.
Pittsburgh Steelers @
1:00 p.m. CBS
The Texans will take on the Steelers and Ryan Mundy without Steve Slaton. Mundy had two tackles last week against the Colts.
Miami Dolphins @
San Diego Chargers
Steve Slaton should make his debut with the Dolphins.
Pat McAfee and the Colts have a bye week.