The first week of the NFL preseason is in the books and several former Virginia football players made a big impact in their first live action of the 2019 season.
Here is a look at how the former Cavaliers fared.
» After rushing for more than 1,000 yards last season for UVa, Jordan Ellis was a major factor in the passing game in his pro debut with the Cincinnati Bengals. Ellis hauled in a team-high five catches for 44 yards and a touchdown in the Bengals’ 38-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday night. Ellis also had three carries for 11 yards. Fellow former Wahoo Andrew Brown also had a strong showing for the Bengals, finishing with two tackles, one sack and three QB hits. On the other side, safety Juan Thornhill made three tackles in his pro debut for Kansas City, while former Charlottesville High School and JMU standout Rashard Davis had a 32-yard kickoff return for the Chiefs and caught one pass for seven yards. He also returned two punts for 13 yards.
» With Kurt Benkert sidelined with an injury, former Virginia QB Matt Schaub made his case to be the Falcons’ backup in a 34-27 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Thursday. Schaub completed 12-of-19 passes for 172 yards and led the team on four scoring drives (two touchdowns, two field goals) in the first half.
“He really managed the game in the way we wanted,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn told reporters. “He delivered the ball on time to the right guys.”
One of Schaub’s 12 completions went to Olamide Zaccheaus, who made his fair share of highlight reel plays during his time at Virginia. The Cavaliers’ all-time receptions leader picked up where he left off in his NFL debut with the Falcons, hauling in a tough, toe-tapping catch from Schaub for a first down in the first quarter of Atlanta’s loss to the Miami Dolphins. Zaccheaus finished with two catches for 35 yards.
» Making his debut with the Carolina Panthers, former Virginia receiver Andre Levrone hauled in a team-high four receptions for 51 yards in a 23-13 win over the Chicago Bears on Thursday. Quin Blanding, Levrone's former Cavalier teammate, finished with two tackles for Carolina. On the other side of the field, former Virginia running back Taquan Mizzell caught two passes for 21 yards and had two carries for 14 yards for the Bears.
» Fresh off a strong senior season at Virginia, linebacker Chris Peace had a strong pro debut for the Los Angeles Chargers, finishing with two tackles, one sack and a QB hit in their 17-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night.
» Former Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser kicked off his second season with the Los Angeles Rams with a four-tackle performance in a 14-3 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Saturday night.
» In his first game with the 49ers, LaRoy Reynolds made a big impact, finishing with five tackles and a sack in San Francisco’s 17-9 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night. Reynolds spent last season with the Philadelphia Eagles. Making his pro debut, former Virginia cornerback Tim Harris made three tackles for San Francisco. Harris was selected by the 49ers in the sixth round of this year’s NFL Draft.
» Former Virginia receiver/returner Darius Jennings returned one kickoff for 22 yards and made one reception for nine years for the Tennessee Titans in their 27-10 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday. Jennings is beginning his second season with the Titans.
» In his debut with the New England Patriots, former UVa receiver Dontrelle Inman caught two passes for 23 yards in a 31-3 win over the Detroit Lions on Thursday night. Inman is beginning his sixth NFL season.
» Eli Harold recorded one tackle for the Buffalo Bills in their 24-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday. On Friday, Buffalo traded Harold to Philadelphia in exchange for offensive lineman Ryan Bates.
» Maurice Canady finished with three tackles for the Baltimore Ravens in their 29-0 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday. Canady is beginning his fourth season with the Ravens.