BOZEMAN — Former Montana State football star Troy Andersen made his NFL debut within the Atlanta Falcons’ second preseason game Monday night against the Latest York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, Latest Jersey.
Andersen sat out the primary quarter but entered the gamer to begin the second and played through the third in Atlanta’s 24-16 loss. The within linebacker from Dillon was credited with two tackles (each solo) within the Monday Night Football game. Each tackles — first on tight end Jeremy Ruckert, second on quarterback Chris Streveler — were hard hits.
Andersen did miss a tackle and looked a bit over-aggressive at times, but he mostly stayed disciplined and took on blocks well.
ESPN analyst Louis Riddick praised Andersen on the MNF broadcast, mentioning his elite athleticism exemplified by his 4.42-second 40-yard dash time on the NFL Scouting Mix. Andersen is certainly one of “the proper kinds of individuals” the Falcons have added to their roster, Riddick said on the printed.
Andersen, who the Falcons chosen within the second round of April’s NFL Draft, missed the primary preseason game against the Detroit Lions for precautionary reasons due to a minor hamstring issue, the Atlanta Journal-Structure reported.
“It just was a negative thing they were being smart with,” Andersen said last week, via the AJC. “I could have played, nevertheless it is what it’s.”
Waiting greater than per week to get his first taste of NFL game motion wasn’t easy for Andersen.
“It was awful,” Andersen said, via the AJC. “You never want to take a seat out or miss any time. That was frustrating.”
Andersen played running back, quarterback, outside linebacker and — last season — inside linebacker during his MSU profession. He missed the tip of the 2019 season with a knee injury that required surgery. He also handled a shoulder injury last yr but didn’t miss any games during a season by which he led the Bobcats to the Football Championship Subdivision title game and picked up Big Sky and FCS defensive player of the yr honors.
Andersen showed no signs of lingering pain from his hamstring injury on Monday. He put his speed on full display and showed the energy of somebody who had been hankering to get right into a game.
44 hit the stop button! pic.twitter.com/mgGA5SNOnj
— Scott Goodness (@BigskyBobcat) August 23, 2022
One other former Bobcat, safety Tre Webb, was cut by the Falcons last Tuesday as NFL rosters shrunk from 90 to 85 players. Tuesday is the deadline for NFL teams to trim right down to 80, and rosters may have to shrink to 53 by next Tuesday.
McCutcheon has one other big game
The NFL preseason leader in receiving yards is former MSU standout wide receiver Lance McCutcheon.
McCutcheon, an undrafted free agent on the Los Angeles Rams, followed up his eye-opening preseason debut with a five-catch, 96-yard performance against the Houston Texans on Friday night.
The Bozeman native tallied 87 yards and two highlight reel-worthy touchdowns on five receptions within the Rams’ 29-22 preseason-opening win over the LA Chargers. His 183 receiving yards are 32 greater than the subsequent closest preseason receiver.
McCutcheon’s first catch of Friday’s game was a 22-yarder with Derek Stingley Jr., the No. 3 overall pick within the 2022 draft, in coverage. While the Texans seemed to be playing zone defense, McCutcheon ran a robust route that caused Stingley to stumble.
The QB who made that throw, John Wolford, told reporters after the sport that his first repetitions with McCutcheon happened against the Texans.
“Friendlier goal, greater body, contorts well, catches it clean, strong hands,” Wolford told reporters after the sport. “Good goal (for) a quarterback.”
With 12 seconds left, McCutcheon caught a 27-yard pass from Bryce Perkins and turned up-field, attempting to rating a walk-off TD. He was tackled at Houston’s 12-yard line to finish the sport.
“The thing about McCutcheon: He doesn’t seem like he belongs on the market within the preseason. In a [Sean] McVay-led system, when starters and key role players don’t play, that’s a compliment,” The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue wrote Saturday. “Sure, he looks young at times — McVay wanted him to plant his foot and keep running on an attempted ‘Hail Mary’ that was well in need of the tip zone on the Rams’ final drive — nevertheless it’s pretty clear McCutcheon can play at a high level, even against higher-level NFL talent.”
McVay, the Rams’ head coach, said after the primary preseason game that McCutcheon is “a really realistic candidate” to make the team’s 53-man roster. McCutcheon echoed McVay after Friday’s game but didn’t express entitlement.
“It’s realistic” that I’ll make the roster, McCutcheon told reporters Friday night, “but can’t be satisfied. At the tip of the day, I’m still an undrafted free agent. Still got to compete week in and week out, game in and game out, and just keep working.”
Hardy gets hurt
McCutcheon’s former MSU teammate and fellow Rams rookie, edge rusher Daniel Hardy, will likely begin the season on designated injured reserve, McVay said Saturday.
Hardy suffered a high ankle sprain in Friday’s game and can need a procedure to repair it.
It wasn’t clear exactly when Hardy got injured, although he got here up limping after colliding with a teammate as he brought down Texans QB Davis Mills early in the primary quarter.
You may’t outrun a landshark! 🦈
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 20, 2022
Hardy, who the Rams drafted within the seventh round, didn’t play in the ultimate three quarters.
“Minor set back [sic] for a significant comeback,” Hardy tweeted Saturday.
Kassis shows ‘really great things’
McCutcheon isn’t the one rookie receiver from MSU who has impressed during training camp.
Kevin Kassis, who last played for the Cats in 2019, caught 4 passes for 37 yards within the Seattle Seahawks’ 27-11 loss to the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.
— Rob Phillips (@robphillips76) August 19, 2022
Kassis played 29 snaps on Thursday, 18 greater than he did in Seattle’s preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, in line with the Seattle Times.
“It’s been some time since I’d played a game,’’ Kassis said, via the Times. “It was only a blast to get back on the market.’’
Kassis mostly gave his NFL hopes up after MSU canceled its 2020 and 2021 pro days due to COVID-19. He spent those years in Southern California working for an eye fixed care company.
But Kassis stayed in shape, and he saw a possibility to pursue his NFL dream this past spring. Not only was MSU’s pro day in April its first since 2019, it was full of NFL scouts mainly due to Andersen. Kassis figured he had a likelihood to catch the attention of no less than one scout. Sure enough, the Seahawks signed him as a UDFA.
“In the event you’d asked me a yr ago, I wouldn’t think I’d be where I’m now,’’ Kassis said Sunday, via the Times.
Kassis faces long odds to make Seattle’s 53-man roster, but he has a great likelihood to earn a practice squad spot. He’s impressed the proper people.
“We haven’t seen anything but really great things from Kevin,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, via the Times. “He’s got great hands, great catching range. He’s made as many spectacular catches as anybody out here, possibly greater than most. Yeah, greater than most.”
Kidd makes case for roster spot
One other former Cat and UDFA has played well enough this preseason to place himself in good position to make a practice squad, at worst.
Lewis Kidd began at right tackle for the Latest Orleans Saints of their 20-10 road loss to the Green Bay Packers on Friday. He wasn’t perfect, but he mostly avoided big mistakes and made several good blocks within the run and pass games. ESPN Saints reporter Mike Tripplett tweeted before the sport that Kidd has a likelihood to crack the team’s 53-man roster.
Kidd began his MSU profession at guard but switched to left tackle last season and was named an All-American.
Kidd is from Minneapolis, which is somewhat lower than 300 miles west of Green Bay — close enough for his family to make the trip to Lambeau Field on Friday, he told reporters after the sport.
“I believed I made improvements. I believed I made some jumps,” Kidd added. “Still a ton to work on. Still attempting to get all my pass pro stuff down, and there is a number of stuff within the run game … attempting to feel out the tackle position really. I’m just attempting to learn and recuperate and do exactly what they’re trying to educate me to do, but in addition add my very own style to it and just play football.”