Jay Ajayi didn’t play the first game of the season. He didn’t start the third game Sunday. But the former Boise State running back had the biggest play of the Miami Dolphins’ season to date, an 11-yard touchdown run in overtime to give Miami a 30-24 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
The fifth-round pick in 2015 scored his second touchdown in 11 NFL games and had seven carries as a backup to rookie Kenyan Drake and one of four Dolphins running backs to see action.
“I have a lot of pride in myself and the kind of player that I want to be, and I felt like I was able to get a little bit of redemption today, and it was a great feeling,” said Ajayi — who was a healthy scratch in Week 1 and had a fumble in Week 2 — during a postgame interview session that can be seen at MiamiDolphins.com. “When it came down to that last drive and I got my number called, it was about being consistent, holding onto the football, and when I got the chance to get in the end zone, it was about making that play, and that’s what I was able to do.”
Another reserve player had a bit of redemption Sunday. Former Idaho safety Shiloh Keo had an onside kick recovery to seal Denver’s Super Bowl 50 bid last year, but he was arrested in Ada County in February, suspended in July and released before Week 2. He was re-signed Tuesday, and he made an impact against Cincinnati in his season debut with a tackle and a fumble recovery in the Broncos’ 29-17 victory.
Four other players from Idaho schools forced turnovers during Sunday’s action. Cleveland’s Jamar Taylor (Boise State) had an interception against his former team, Cincinnati’s George Iloka (Boise State) picked up a fumble on a two-point conversion try, and Dallas’ Tyrone Crawford (Boise State) and Benson Mayowa (Idaho) each had fumble recoveries during the Sunday Night Football game against Chicago.
Fourteen players from Idaho schools played during Thursday’s and Sunday’s games. The complete list is below:
▪ New England LB Shea McClellin (No. 58, Marsing High/Boise State) had three tackles against Houston.
▪ Miami RB Jay Ajayi (No. 23, Boise State) had seven carries for 28 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland. Browns CB Jamar Taylor (No. 21, Boise State) intercepted a pass on the second play of the game against his former team, and he added a tackle.
▪ New York Jets LT Ryan Clady (No. 78, Boise State) started against Kansas City.
▪ Baltimore LB Kamalei Correa (No. 51, Boise State) made his first career tackle and defended a pass at Jacksonville.
▪ Dallas DT Tyrone Crawford (No. 98, Boise State) started and had three tackles, including two for loss, and a fumble recovery against Chicago. Cowboys DE Benson Mayowa (No. 93, Idaho) also recovered a fumble. Bears LT Charles Leno (No. 72, Boise State) started.
▪ Cincinnati FS George Iloka (No. 43, Boise State) started against Denver. He had four tackles and recovered a fumble on a two-point conversion attempt. Broncos S Shiloh Keo (No. 33, Idaho) had a tackle, recovered a fumble and made a fair catch on a punt. C Matt Paradis (No. 61, Council High/Boise State) started and DL Billy Winn (No. 97, Boise State) made a tackle.
▪ Arizona LG Mike Iupati (No. 76, Idaho) started at Buffalo.
▪ Tampa Bay OL Evan Smith (No. 62, Idaho State) saw action against Los Angeles as an extra lineman in goal-line situations.
▪ Tampa Bay RB Doug Martin (No. 22, Boise State; hamstring), Dallas CB Orlando Scandrick (No. 32, Boise State; hamstrings) and New York Giants FS Darian Thompson (No. 27, Boise State; foot) missed starts due to injury.