February 28, 2024

Vols in the pros: week five edition

Young receivers and a veteran tight end lead the former Vols that made an impact on Sunday.

Photo by Matthew Deery. Courtesy of creativecommons.org.

While the loss on Saturday still stings, some former Vols made big plays throughout NFL action on Sunday. That counts for something, right?

Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter both recorded their first receiving touchdowns of the season. Oh, and did anybody see that Jason Witten stiff arm?

Outside of that, it was a rather boring week in the NFL for Tennessee alum, with players like Eric Berry, Malik Jackson and Tony McDaniel enjoying their bye week. Arian Foster continues to nurse a groin injury and was inactive for a third straight game. In addition, Robert Ayers of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was unable to suit up for his Monday night matchup due to an ankle injury.

Here are the four players who made solid contributions towards their team’s victory on Sunday.

Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings WR

While the Cordarrelle Patterson hype train has quieted down dramatically over the past few seasons, his performance Sunday could be a sign of things to come for the former first round pick. Maybe, Patterson is actually a good NFL wide receiver now.

Just in the past two weeks, he’s surpassed his snaps played at wide out from last year, and on Sunday, he took advantage of the hole in the offense left by Stefon Diggs’ injury. He finished the game with four receptions for 39 yards, including a beautiful touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone while displaying an impressive catch radius.

It may have come three years past expectations, but Patterson might be turning into the threat that he was expected to be when drafted out of Tennessee. Tennessee fans, feel free to hop back on the CP84 hype train!

Justin Hunter, Buffalo Bills WR

Making his debut for Buffalo on Sunday, Justin Hunter was only on the field for 11 plays. In his lone target, he hauled in a four yard touchdown. After being cut by two teams in less than a month, Hunter deserves this. Tennessee fans know good and well the talent is there. Maybe the former Vol can find a home in Buffalo, and become a productive, consistent wide receiver in the NFL.

Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys TE

While Jason Witten has been amongst the best tight ends over the last decade, at age 34, the decline appears upon us. Nevertheless, Witten still has moments, like this vicious stiff arm, where he proves he’s still the beast we’ve all grown to love.



In all, Witten caught three of his five targets on Sunday, totaling 43 yards. This new fan-favorite highlight accounted for 31 of them.

Dan Williams, Oakland Raiders DT

After a five-year stretch where Dan Williams started a combined 55 games, the former Vol has dealt with a diminished role this season, averaging less than 20 snaps a game through the first four weeks. On Sunday, seeing an increase in snaps of 29, Williams took advantage of the opportunity. He finished the day with two tackles and a half-sack, his first time getting to the quarterback this year.

The play came late in the third quarter, at a clutch time. After trailing the whole game, the Raiders had finally taken the lead 27-24. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Williams and fellow Raider defensive lineman Stacy McGee split a tone-setting sack. This led to a Chargers three-and-out, which was followed by another Raiders touchdown that turned out to be the game decider. The former Vol came up clutch.

Other Vols

Offensive linemen Ja’Wuan James and Dallas Thomas both started Sunday for the Dolphins against the Titans. For those who watched, they didn’t impress.

Edited by Dalton King 

Featured image by Matthew Deery, courtesy of creativecommons.org

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