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Pokes In the Pros: NFL Week 4

An injury derails one promising rookie season while a young defender steps up.

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller /Getty Images

We’re now a quarter of a way through the NFL schedule, and former Oklahoma State Cowboys are making their presence felt across the league. A couple enjoyed solid outings this week, though one rookie suffered a significant injury that stopped his development and threatened to derail the entire rushing attack for one NFC contender.

So let’s take a look at this week’s Pokes in the Pros:

Emmanuel Ogbah (Browns) — Cleveland welcomed the intrastate rival Bengals to town, and Ogbah formed the official greeting party by sacking Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton and forcing a fumble. Later, he forced another fumble and finished the day with six tackles, a sack, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. It was a solid showing and served as an individual highlight reel for a team struggling for positives. Cleveland has yet to lead a game at any point this season.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Taylor (Dolphins) — In the best performance of his young career, the Miami rookie notched three tackles in a shutout loss to New Orleans. Keeping a vaunted offensive attack to 20 points in the NFL is an achievement, even if your own offense fails to score. Though he has yet to start for the Dolphins, Taylor remains a formidable prospect on the defensive line interior.

Dan Bailey (Cowboys) — Perfection is reality for Bailey, who kicked three extra points and nailed his only field goal attempt of the day in a 35-30 loss to the Rams. Bailey remains perhaps the best kicker in the league and continues to produce for Dallas.

Dez Bryant (Cowboys) — Bryant led Dallas receivers in catches (five) and yards (98), though he was held out of the endzone for the second time this season. His 98 yards set a season high mark and will likely be a positive to point to as the season progresses. Bryant is a player teams must account for, providing QB Dak Prescott an elite target and creating opportunities for others in the Cowboys’ attack.

Los Angeles Rams v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Russell Okung (Chargers) — Okung started but didn’t record any measurable stats protecting Philip Rivers in Los Angeles’ 26-24 loss to the Eagles.

Tyler Patmon (Jaguars) — Like Okung, Patmon played but didn’t register any stats in Jacksonville’s surprising loss to the New York Jets, but he might see more action going forward after last week’s performance where he notched a pair of tackles against Baltimore.

Lenzy Pipkins (Packers) — After recording playing time last week, Pipkins was held out in Week 4’s win over the Bears. It’s a long season, which can provide younger players buried on the depth chart opportunities to make some plays.

Lane Taylor (Packers) — One of the important factors in Aaron Rodgers’ elite production is the consistency from his offensive line despite injuries that continue to decimate the offensive front. Taylor has established himself as a primary protector and run blocker as Green Bay’s starting left guard. He’s started all four games in the Packers’ 3-1 season thus far.

Michael Hunter Jr. (Giants) — New York is the lone winless team in the NFC, matching the AFC’s Browns 0-4 record. Hunter is listed as the primary backup at cornerback but didn’t see the field in the Giants’ latest loss on Sunday. He had played in each of the three previous games, but has yet to record any defensive statistics.

Chris Carson (Seahawks) — Carson established himself as the starter in Seattle and provided a weapon in both the rushing and passing attacks of Pete Carroll’s offense. In Sunday’s blowout of the Colts, Carson finished with 12 carries for 42 yards and three receptions for 24 yards before suffering a severe leg injury—reports from the NFL indicate a fracture below the kneecap—in the fourth quarter that will keep him out for some time. Carson is the team leader in rushing yards with 202.

Carson had a chance to be the former Cowboy to make the biggest splash in the NFL season. He still may, but we’re betting there are plenty more Poke highlights to come with three quarters of the schedule yet to be played.