UNC Football: Tar Heels in the NFL Preseason Week 2 Update

LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 21: Dyami Brown #2 of the Washington Commanders celebrates after a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of the preseason game at FedExField on August 21, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 21: Dyami Brown #2 of the Washington Commanders celebrates after a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of the preseason game at FedExField on August 21, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Several former UNC football players continue to see opportunities during the NFL Preseason as they are trying to earn a roster spot.

Last week we covered how our former UNC football players performed during week 1 of the NFL Preseason and we’re back for week 2 as several former Tar Heels are attempting to make 53-man rosters.

In the past, the NFL has had three cut deadline dates during the preseason for teams to meet. In 2023, that changed to just one cut date to get to the 53-man roster limit. The deadline is 4:00 PM ET on August 29th.

Antoine Green

As a rookie, Green is doing his best to earn a spot on the 53-man roster for the Detroit Lions. He didn’t have as impressive of a week two, but still caught his only target for 18 yards in a 25-7 Lions loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was also reported that Green was practicing receiving punts during warmups as well. Many rookies earn their spot on special teams, and this could be a way that Green does that.

Mitchell Trubisky

After a disappointing performance last week, Mitch Trubisky bounced back with a solid performance in a 27-15 win over the Buffalo Bills. Trubisky is likely going to be a backup to Kenny Pickett, but he showed improvement. He was 10/13 passing for 78 yards and a touchdown while also using his legs by rushing for 13 yards on two carries.

Cole Holcomb

New Steelers linebacker Cole Holcomb is making himself at home in his new defense after spending the last four years with the Washington Commanders. Holcomb racked up three tackles, including a tackle for loss, and one pass deflection that led to an interception for the Steelers.

Sam Howell & Dyami Brown

We typically separate our Pro Heels and give them each their own spotlight but this duo was impressive on Monday Night Football for the Washington Commanders and gave us throwback UNC connection vibes, so decided to combine them.

Sam Howell was named QB1 for the Commanders on Friday morning and in his first preseason game with the QB1 designation beside his name, he did not disappoint. Howell was 19/25 passing for 188 yards and two touchdowns. He also scrambled three times for a total of 17 yards.

Dyami Brown saw six total targets, only catching two passes for 27 yards. However, he gave UNC football fans a blast to the past when he caught this pass from his former college quarterback in the second quarter to end the first half and put the Commanders in front for the lead.

This likely won’t be the last time we see these two connect in the NFL. Both are getting several opportunities with the Commanders, and many more should come. Howell almost found Brown in the first quarter for another touchdown, but the pass was broken up in the back of the endzone. Howell would find Antonio Gibson on the next play.

Brown was evaluated for a concussion in the third quarter but was later cleared to return to the game.

Washington beat Baltimore 29-28 and ended the Ravens, NFL record 24 consecutive preseason victory streak. Their next and final preseason game will be on Saturday, August 26th, versus the Cincinnati Bengals at 6:05 PM ET.

Josh Downs

Downs had another good performance as a rookie for the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL Preseason. He caught two of his three targets for 20 yards. Downs also saw action on special teams in the Colts’ 24-17 win over the Chicago Bears. He had one kickoff return for 14 yards and one punt return for five yards. There has been some speculation out of the Colts’ preseason camp that Downs has been working with the special teams unit and could be returning punts and/or kickoffs this season.

Mack Hollins

Hollins didn’t see any action during week one of the NFL preseason but did get two targets during the week two game for the Atlanta Falcons. He caught both passes for a total of 20 yards.

Michael Carter and Chazz Surratt

Neither saw action in the Jets’ third preseason NFL game on Saturday, August 19th against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 13-6 Jets loss. Surratt has been banged up dealing with an undisclosed injury. Carter was a healthy scratch which could possibly mean that he has secured a roster spot which was up in the air earlier this week when the Jets signed Dalvin Cook to a one-year contract.

Tomon Fox

Tomon Fox had another good preseason performance for the New York Giants this week. He secured three tackles, including one sack and one tackle for loss in a 21-19 win over the Carolina Panthers. He is making his case to start along the defensive line with his first two 2023 preseason performances.

Ty Chandler

After his impressive performance in the opening preseason game for the Minnesota Vikings, Chandler didn’t have as great of a week two game but still led the team in rushing. He received the most carries (11) and rushed for the most yards (24) on the team in a 24-16 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Unfortunately, his average wasn’t great only getting 2.2 yards per carry, but by receiving the most touches, the team could feel he is high on the depth chart heading into the regular season.

Javonte Williams

After suffering a season-ending ACL injury during his rookie season in 2022, Javonte Williams made a return to the field on Saturday, August 19th for the Denver Broncos in their second preseason game versus the San Fransico 49ers. Williams received three carries for 12 yards. He also saw four catches for 18 yards – totaling a snap count of 12, seven total touches for 30 yards.

Asim Richards

After seeing 59 snaps at left tackle and left guard combined in the Dallas Cowboys week one preseason game, Richards didn’t see action according to Pro Football Focus in the Cowboys’ week two preseason game against the Seahawks.

Joshua Ezeudu

Ezeudu played 24 snaps in the Giants’ 21-19 win over the Carolina Panthers and allowed zero sacks.

MJ Stewart

Stewart continues to get playing time for the Houston Texans. On Saturday, Stewart recorded three tackles in a 28-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins where another former Tar Heel was on the other side…

Myles Dorn

Dorn played for the Dolphins against the Texans and recorded three tackles, including one tackle for loss on Saturday when the Dolphins beat the Texans 28-3.

Kyler McMichael

McMichael racked up a total of two tackles for the Arizona Cardinals against the Kansas City Chiefs during week two of the NFL Preseason. The Cardinals lost to the Chiefs 38-10.

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