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Tigers in the NFL: Weeks 9 & 10

Jacob Thompson, Contributor
Former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) led Clemson to a National Championship in 2016.

Over the last few weeks, former Clemson Tigers have been putting together standout performances as their respective NFL teams make a push toward the playoffs. Here are some updates on a few Clemson football alumni who continue to shine at the next level:

Tee Higgins, wide receiver | Cincinnati Bengals

In Week 9, Higgins and the Bengals defeated the Buffalo Bills in a 24-18 home victory, propelled by a stellar performance from the fourth-year receiver. Higgins posted 110 receiving yards on eight receptions for his best game of the season so far. Quarterback Joe Burrow found Higgins frequently in their big win, allowing the wide receiver to average 13.8 yards per
reception and leading the team to an important conference victory.

In preparation for Week 10, it was announced that Higgins had suffered a hamstring injury in practice and, as a result, was held out of practice for the rest of the week, making him unable to play in the matchup against the Houston Texans. The Bengals struggled without Higgins and fell at home in a 30-27 loss.

The Bengals star receiver will miss a second straight game on Thursday when Cincinnati travels to Baltimore to face a strong Ravens team that currently sits atop the AFC North.

Deshaun Watson, Quarterback | Cleveland Browns

Watson had two strong showings over the past two games, leading the resurgent Cleveland Browns to back-to-back wins in weeks 9 and 10.

First defeating the Arizona Cardinals 27-0, Watson completed 19 of 30 passes for 219 passing yards in addition to 22 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. The following week, Watson led a comeback victory charge against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. He threw for 213 yards and one touchdown in addition to 37 rushing yards to help secure an upset over their divisional rival.

Unfortunately for Watson, he suffered a shoulder fraction in the win over the Ravens that will sideline him for the rest of the 2023 season, the Browns announced on Wednesday.

Jayron Kearse, Safety | Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are currently riding a hot streak, pulling out wins in three of their last four games. A main factor has been their stifling defense, led in part by former Tiger safety Jayron Kearse. Kearse recorded five tackles in his team’s hard-fought Week 9 loss to the Eagles that came down to the wire but ultimately ended 28-23.

He is currently ranked third in total tackles for the Cowboys and is making a case to be considered for a spot in the Pro Bowl this season. In Week 10, the Cowboys’ defense dominated the New York Giants in a 49-17 victory, with Kearse tallying three tackles.

Kearse and the Cowboys will head to Bank of America Stadium to face the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Nov. 19, as they look to ride their momentum.

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