Former Virginia running back Jordan Ellis has carried his workhorse mentality to the NFL.
On Thursday, Ellis carried the load in the Cincinnati Bengals’ 23-13 preseason win over the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Less than a week after scoring the first touchdown of his NFL career, Ellis led the Bengals with 15 carries for 52 yards and tied Damion Willis with a team-high five receptions.
“I thought Jordan Ellis did a nice job,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “He was our last man standing. We were out of backs. He was in there, we tried to give him a break at times, but he kept fighting his tail off and getting some hard-earned runs. We felt like we got better at the run game as the game got going.”
Bengals backup quarterback Ryan Finley, who went 20-for-26 for 150 yards and two touchdowns, also was impressed with Ellis’ performance.
“[When] I was in there, I thought Jordan ran the ball really well and just really balanced, made it east to call plays,” said Finley, a former N.C. State quarterback.
In two seasons as Virginia’s starter, Ellis carried the ball 430 times for 1,862 yards and 16 touchdowns. As a senior, he posted his first career 1,000-yard season with 1,038 and scored a career-high 10 rushing touchdowns.
Former Virginia defensive lineman Andrew Brown, a five-star recruit brought in by former head coach Mike London, recorded one tackle for the Bengals, while former Louisa County standout Kerry Wynn tallied four tackles, one sack and two quarterback hits in the win.
‘Hoos in the NFL
In the Falcons’ 22-10 loss on Thursday night to the Jets, former Virginia quarterback Matt Schaub completed 8-of-10 passes for 76 yards. With fellow former Cavalier Kurt Benkert out with a toe injury, Schaub is in line to once again back up Falcons’ starter Matt Ryan this season.
Former UVa wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus hauled in two passes for zero yards in the Falcons’ loss.
In the Ravens’ 26-13 win Thursday over the Packers, former UVa cornerback Maurice Canady posted three tackles.