Fant scores again, Scherff suffers knee injury in second week of NFL season

Former Hawkeyes made headlines all over the league, including All-Pro defensive back Desmond King, who voiced displeasure with his playing time on Twitter.



Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant (87) catches a ball during training camp at UCHealth Training Center on Aug. 11, 2019 in Englewood, Colo.

Robert Read, Pregame Editor

Defensive coordinators around the NFL are quickly finding out what coaches around the Big Ten are already well aware of — it’s tough to cover Noah Fant.

The former Hawkeye caught 19 touchdowns in his time at Iowa from 2016-18. On Sunday, the second-year player for the Denver Broncos hauled in his second touchdown in as many weeks.

After catching five passes for 81 yards and a touchdown in Denver’s first game of the 2020 NFL season, Fant followed that up with another impressive performance in Week 2. The 2019 first-round draft pick finished the Broncos’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with four receptions for 57 yards, including a 20-yard score late in the third quarter.

The touchdown was thrown by Denver’s backup quarterback Jeff Driskel after starter Drew Lock left the game in the first quarter with an injury to his throwing shoulder. Fant broke free from the linebacker attempting to cover him on a corner route for an easy catch and score.

Through two games, despite inconsistent quarterback play, the 6-foot-4, 249-pound tight end has played like one the league’s next great players at the position.

According to Pro Football Focus, Fant is the only player with a perfect 158.3 passer rating on 10 or more targets this season. Another former Hawkeye that Pro Football focus provided an impressive statistic for? Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting right tackle Tristan Wirfs, who was the highest-graded offensive rookie in Week 2 (86.0) per PFF.

Kittle and Scherff dealing with knee injuries

 San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle and Washington Football Team offensive guard Brandon Scherff are two of the best players in the league at their respective positions. Both suffered injuries in the early weeks of the NFL season.

Kittle missed San Francisco’s victory Sunday against the New York Jets with a sprained MCL in his left knee, an injury which he sustained in Week 1. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that despite the injury, which often causes players to miss several weeks, the 49ers believe Kittle will be ready to play in Week 3 against the New York Jets.

Scherff left Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals with a knee injury after a defender rolled up on his right leg. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Monday that Scherff also suffered a sprained MCL, which is expected to keep him out three to five weeks. Rapoport said this news came as a “relief” as the team previously thought the injury was season-ending.

Scherff is playing under Washington’s franchise tag and will be a free agent after the season.

RELATED: Hawkeye football season this fall will be anything but normal

Drama in Los Angeles?

All-Pro defensive back Desmond King is upset with the lack of playing time he’s receiving from the Los Angeles Chargers. After a 23-20 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, King voiced his displeasure on Twitter.

“Is there a reason I’m not on the field?” King asked in one of his tweets posted on Sunday night. “Some people want to know.”

In another tweet, he wrote: “I’ll continue to do my job but I’m going to need answers real soon.”

King had a breakout year for the Chargers in 2018 and was a fixture in the secondary last season as a slot corner who could also play safety. This season through two games, King has only played 41 defensive snaps, fifth among members of Los Angeles’ secondary.

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