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Slightly past the halfway mark of the 2020 NFL season, injuries, COVID-19 opt-outs and positive tests have knocked out some of the most high-profile names. The list reads like an All-Pro team.
The “next man up” adage has never been more true, as a host of understudies and backups have filled in admirably. Some have been cut from teams three or four times, perhaps were even out of football. One worked in a fast-food joint while pursuing his NFL dream, another runs his own hunting outfitter, hunts hogs and alligators, and lives in an RV.
And one player, who suffered through the indignation of going 0-40 in high school, now plays for the Jets. Go figure.
(l-r) Johnny Mundt, Robert Spillane and Jason Verrett have gone from no-names to starters in 2020. ESPN
What it amounts to is perseverance. If they didn’t have that, they wouldn’t be playing. And now that they’ve got their chance, they’re making the most of it.
Here are some players who are showing what they can do in this unusual season.
Note: Rookies were not considered; players must have had a snap percentage of 20% or less in