21 for '21: A Recap Of The 21 #NFLBuffs For 2021
BOULDER- The 2021 NFL season was a historic one. For the first time ever the regular season concluded with a week 18. As if the regular season wasn't thrilling enough, the playoffs concluded with every game from the divisional round onward being decided by six points or less. Several former Colorado Buffaloes had a presence in both the regular season and playoffs.
A total of 21 former Buffs were on NFL active rosters or practice squads at some point in 2021. Here is what happened to each of the Buffs in the NFL this season.
Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Cincinnati Bengals: After spending the first four seasons of his career with the Dallas Cowboys, Awuzie joined the Bengals. He had a big impact in the team's legendary run to the Super Bowl. He played in 14 games this season, recorded 64 total tackles (sixth on the team) and two interceptions. Throughout the playoffs quarterbacks decreasingly targeted the receivers he was covering, including being targeted zero times in the Super Bowl. He also had a big play in the big game with an interception off the hands of Los Angeles Rams receiver Ben Skowronek early in the second half. This would lead to a Bengals field goal, the team's final points in their 23-20 Super Bowl loss.
David Bakhtiari, OT, Green Bay Packers: Bakhtiari continued to be plagued by a torn ACL from the previous season and thus only appeared in one game. That game was the final week of the regular season where he appeared in 27 offensive snaps.
Ken Crawley, CB, New Orleans Saints: Started the season on the IR and did not play until week 10. Crawley appeared in six games and recorded three tackles in his sixth season in the league.
Mason Crosby, K, Green Bay Packers: Crosby reached two major milestones this season. In week 11 he appeared in his 235th NFL game, breaking the all-time record for most NFL games played by a Buff. He finished the season with 241 career games played, tied for 70th in NFL history. In week 16 he made career field goal number 366, tying him for 17th all-time in field goals made. He now sits alone at 17th all-time with 370. Crosby finished the season 25-of-34 on field goal attempts and 49-of-51 on extra points. The Packers wound up with the league's best record at 13-4 and with the top NFC seed in the playoffs.
Kabion Ento, CB, Green Bay Packers: Spent his third season in the league with the team's practice squad. Signed to a future contract in January.
Arlington Hambright G, New England Patriots: Spent most of the season on the Chicago Bears practice squad. Was signed to their active roster in October but immediately returned to the practice squad. Signed to a future contract with the New England Patriots in January.
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Miami Dolphins: Lindsay started out his fourth season in the league with the Houston Texans, where he appeared in 10 games rushing for 130 yards and a touchdown. He also had three receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown. Lindsay was cut by the Texans in week 12 but was immediately acquired by the Miami Dolphins. With the Dolphins Lindsay played in four games and ran the ball 38 times for 119 yards. He also had an 8-yard reception.
Steven Montez, QB, Detroit Lions: Spent the season on the practice squad. Signed a future contract with the team in January.
Daniel Munyer, C, Tennessee Titans: Munyer was on the Titans injured reserve to start the season and was later activated from the injured reserve, waived, then signed to the practice squad. He was signed to the active roster from the practice squad twice this season and was also signed to a future contract.
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Atlanta Falcons: Oliver played in the first four weeks of the season before sustaining a season-ending knee injury. On the season he had 11 tackles, three passes defended, a quarterback hit, a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Played in 16 games in his second season. Had 63 receptions for 619 yards. Also had 11 carries for 41 yards.
William Sherman OT, New England Patriots: Sherman spent most of the season on the Patriots practice squad but played in the week five game against the Texans, where he appeared in six special teams snaps. Was signed to a future contract in January.
Jimmy Smith, CB, Baltimore Ravens: Played in 10 games in his 10th season and made 18 tackles including one for a loss. Also had three passes defended.
Nate Solder, OL, New York Giants: Played in 16 games this season, playing in all offensive snaps in 12 of the games in his 10th season in the league.
Davion Taylor, LB, Philadelphia Eagles: Played in nine games recording a career-high 41 tackles including a tackle for a loss and two forced fumbles. His season ended when he was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury after week 11.
Tedric Thompson S, Cleveland Browns: Was released by the Titans in August and was not signed again till mid-December when the Browns signed him to the practice squad. Shortly after, he was signed to their active roster and appeared in three special teams snaps in week 15 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Josh Tupou, DT, Cincinnati Bengals: Tupou started in a career-high nine games in 2021 for the AFC Champion Bengals and appeared in all 17 regular season games. He recorded 12 total tackles and a quarterback hit in the regular season and played in two playoff games including the Super Bowl, where he appeared in 21 defensive snaps and one special teams snap.
Juwann Winfree, WR, Green Bay Packers: Bounced around between the active roster and practice squad appearing in seven games and recording eight catches for 58 yards.
Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Was traded to the Steelers from the Seattle Seahawks. He made big plays late in the season during their playoff push. Had 15 tackles, a tackle for a loss, three interceptions and nine passes defended in nine games this season.
Delrick Abrams Jr.: Was signed and released from the Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams practice squad.
Alex Tchangam: Was signed and released from the Seattle Seahawks practice squad.