This Week in the NFL: Week 9

JC Jackson returns an interception eighty-eight yards for a touchdown. Panthers receiver Robby Anderson dives in an attempt to take Jackson down.

SBNation-Pats Pulpit

JC Jackson returns an interception eighty-eight yards for a touchdown. Panthers receiver Robby Anderson dives in an attempt to take Jackson down.

The Patriots travelled down to Charlotte, North Carolina to play the Panthers on Sunday, November 7, 2021. It was the game in which talented Panthers’ running back Christian McCaffrey would be returning after being out for five games with an injury, meaning that the Patriots defense would have to step up. To say that they stepped up would be an understatement, as they caused multiple turnovers and never let the Panthers score a touchdown. On back-to-back drives in the third quarter, Panthers’ quarterback Sam Darnold, whom the Panthers acquired via a trade from the New York Jets during the offseason, threw interceptions, one of which was returned 88 yards for a Patriots’ touchdown. In the fourth quarter, the Panthers got close to getting a touchdown. However, Darnold threw yet another interception in the end zone, this one to JC Jackson, just like the one that was returned for a touchdown. 

While the Panthers struggled, the Patriots thrived. It took a few drives and a turnover for them to get a good rhythm, though. When the Panthers scored a field goal, the first score of the game, the Patriots clapped back by scoring a touchdown, scored by Patriots’ running back Damien Harris. Later in the half, Mac Jones threw a touchdown pass to newly-acquired tight end Hunter Henry, who the Patriots grabbed in free-agency during the offseason. The end zone-interception by JC Jackson set up a fifty-four yard field goal attempt for the Patriots kicker, Nick Folk, who ended up missing the kick. The Panthers’ struggles, and Patriots triumphs were visible throughout the entire game. The final score was 24-6, in favor of the Patriots. 

(Now Former) Las Vegas Raiders Receiver Henry Ruggs III Released From the Team After Arrest 

Earlier this week, 22 year-old Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver and rising star, Henry Ruggs III was released from his team, the Raiders, after he was driving under the influence and crashed his Corvette, killing the 23 year-old woman who was driving the other car. He sustained minor injuries, while his girlfriend, who was also in the Corvette, suffered serious ones. He’s currently facing several charges and will likely find himself in prison after his court hearing. Before the crash, he’d been driving at 156 miles per hour, had a gun in the car, and had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit in the state of Nevada. Currently, he’s on house arrest after paying the $150,000 bail to Clark County Detention Center. Ruggs could be in prison for a maximum of forty-six years. 

Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers Tests Positive for COVID-19… but That’s Not All to This Storyline

Aaron Rodgers has been a starter for the Green Bay Packers for many years now, and he’s known for being talented and very fun to watch. He recently tested positive for COVID-19. However, testing positive wasn’t all the drama that took place surrounding Aaron Rodgers this week. It has been discovered that he lied about his vaccination status to the media. He told them that he was “immunized,” which everyone assumed meant that he was vaccinated. Spoiler: he’s not vaccinated. The National Football League rules state that vaccinated players who test positive and are asymptomatic may return after receiving two negative tests 24 hours apart while unvaccinated players must isolate for ten days and may return after those ten days if asymptomatic. This means that he was unavailable for his team’s matchup versus the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. His backup, Jordan Love, a second-year quarterback from Utah State University, took the start — and lost to the Chiefs 7-13. 

The National Football League currently isn’t requiring players to be vaccinated. However, those who choose not to be vaccinated have to follow a long list of rules to keep themselves and their teammates safe, with a fine of over $1,400 dollars to anyone who violates them. 

Some of these rules for unvaccinated players (as of summer training camp) include: 

  • Daily COVID testing
  • Masks required around the team facility and while traveling for away games
  • Staying physically distant from others at the team facilities
  • Quarantining after being exposed to COVID, even if they don’t test positive
  • Not eating with their teammates
  • No marketing, sponsorships, or endorsements
  • No using the team sauna or steam room
  • No leaving the team hotel during away game travel, and no interacting with people outside of the team on trips 

Other News and Headlines From Around the National Football League

  • Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the week off from games, since it was their bye week.
  • Denver Broncos defender Von Miller has been traded from the Broncos to the Los Angeles Rams. He sat out of the Rams game with an injury, but should be ready to go for their next game
  • The now 2-6 Jacksonville Jaguars upset the now 5-3 Buffalo Bills, winning 6-9
  • The Baltimore Ravens beat the Minnesota Vikings in overtime, 34-31
  • Odell Beckham Jr. has been released by the Cleveland Browns


Kristina Klauzinski ‘24, Staff Writer