Minshew gets popped in NFL preseason debut

Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Kenny Young drills Jacksonville Jaguars and former Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) during a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. The Ravens won, 29-0. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/TNS)

Former Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew was on ESPN.com’s front page Thursday night as part of the organization’s “must-see (NFL) preseason moments.”

But unfortunately for the Jacksonville Jaguars backup and fan-favorite Coug, the recognition was for a hit he sustained, rather than a continuation of his notable one-year WSU career.

“Gardner Minshew loses helmet on massive welcome-to-NFL hit,” the article reads.

On first-and-10 from his own 8-yard line midway through the second quarter at Baltimore, Minshew — in shotgun — bobbled a semi-wide snap, then collected the ball off the turf. Right when he straightened to scan the field, a hard-charging linebacker, the Ravens’ Kenny Young, speared Minshew helmet to chest at full-speed, sending the signal caller’s mouthguard out, his helmet off — a few yards back — and planting the Mississippi Mustache down at the 1.

It immediately went viral.

Minshew popped right up and tossed the pigskin to an official. Overall, Minshew went 7 of 14 for 46 yards in a 29-0 Jaguars loss. Minshew didn’t throw any picks and coverted on a 3rd-and-14 two plays after the sack.

There are 14 former Cougars and five former Idaho Vandals vying for spots on NFL rosters this preseason.

In the Battle of New York, WSU quarterback (2013-17) Luke Falk went 9-for-11 for 69 yards and a touchdown for the Jets in a 31-22 loss to the Giants, who boast Idaho’s Elijhaa Penny, a fullback/halfback hybrid and the brother of Seahawks’ running back Rashaad Penny. Elijhaa caught a ball in space that he took for 11 yards.

Falk’s teammate — current and former — a 2018 undrafted free agent, linebacker Frankie Luvu, led the Jets on Thursday in tackles with six.

Elsewhere, Philadelphia’s first-round pick, tackle Andre Dillard out of WSU, started and impressed — according to the Philly Voice — in his in-game debut.

Idaho (and Asotin High) grad Jesse Davis, a mainstay guard on Miami’s O-line, mostly watched from the sideline Thursday night. It was the same case with Seattle guard Mike Iupati, an all-pro player out of UI.

The Chargers’ Vince Mayle, a WSU wideout from 2013-14, had one catch for 14 yards. His Coug teammate, Denver WR River Cracraft (2013-16), was targeted once against Seattle.

Cardinals safety Jalen Thompson, out of WSU, had two solo stops. Thompson lost his final year of Cougar eligibility reportedly because of an over-the-counter supplement. He was the lone player taken in the NFL’s supplementary draft.

Another Wazzu safety, Shalom Luani (2015-16) assisted on a tackle for Seattle.

WSU’s Joe Dahl (2012-15), a guard who was just extended by Detroit, played limited minutes for the Lions. Dahl’s former teammate, Green Bay guard Cole Madison (2014-17), made an appearance.

Wazzu D-tackle Daniel Ekuale, for Cleveland, didn’t appear on the stat sheet, and neither did fellow Coug DT Destiny Vaeao (2012-15), now with the Panthers.

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