Akeem Hunt took a call from a friend Sunday night congratulating him on the long touchdown run against the Philadelphia Eagles that day.
Um, Hunt said. That was Kareem Hunt.
The confusion was a bit more widespread. According to a story in USA Today, many fantasy football owners activated Akeem Hunt when they believed he was Kareem Hunt. Understandable mistake: they share a last name, first names that rhyme, a team and a position.
“Oh, man, I didn’t know that,” Akeem Hunt said. “That’s funny.”
For the record, Kareem Hunt is the rookie running back off to a blazing start with five touchdowns in two games.
Akeem Hunt is a third year pro from Purdue who was waived by the Houston Texans on Sept. 3 and signed to the practice squad by the Chiefs two days later.
The Chiefs liked the latter Hunt enough to part ways with veteran C.J. Spiller, who had an impressive preseason, and Akeem Hunt suited up for his first Chiefs game against the Eagles, seeing the field on 13 special teams plays. One stood out.
He took a fourth quarter kickoff six yards deep in the end zone and returned it 40 yards.
“That felt really good,” said Hunt, who was playing at Arrowhead Stadium for the first time. “The fans got me going. That’s probably the loudest I’ve ever heard a stadium.”
Hunt went undrafted in 2015 after a productive four-year career at Purdue, where he increased his rushing totals every year and led the team in receptions as a senior.
He spent time with the Giants and on the Ravens’ practice squad before signing with the Texans. In 15 games over two seasons, he rushed for 205 yards.
The 5-9, 184-pound Hunt liked his chances of sticking with the Texans but understood when he was released.
“In this business, you know it can happen,” Hunt said. “I went undrafted, so somewhere deep down I knew it was a possibility. It was a bummer, and I say that because I got into the community.”
In a big way. Hunt was in Houston receiving treatment when the Texans visited New Orleans for a preseason game. The team couldn’t return home because of Hurricane Harvey, which caused widespread flooding, but Hunt remained in the city.
Hunt said the damage was limited where he lived, but he was struck by the devastation. He organized a school-supply drive with a group of friends and wound up donating more than 500 book bags of pencils, pens, notebooks, sharpeners, erasers and other supplies to the Houston Independent School District.
“I just spoke up and used my platform as an athlete,” Hunt said. “I was in a position to help, so I did. And a lot of people donated to this. It was a group effort.”
While Hunt continues to learn the offense and work behind Kareem Hunt and Charcandrick West at running back, he’ll be used on special teams as the Chiefs take advantage of speed that was once measured at 4.39 in the 40.
“He’s very fast,” Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub said. “He’s strong, he gets the return going north and south. He breaks tackles. He kind of fits our scheme.”
De’Anthony Thomas is the Chiefs’ primary kickoff return man. But Toub as long as Hunt suits up, “he’s a guy we’re going to keep developing.”
Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff
When Aaron Rodgers needed a big play, Geronimo Allison was there for his quarterback.
The second-year pro piled up a career-high 122 yards on six catches, including a 72-yarder that set up the game-winning field goal in overtime versus the Cincinnati Bengals.
With Randall Cobb missing due to injury, Allison took on a larger role, providing Rodgers a complementary target alongside Jordy Nelson. The Packers quarterback was not surprised in the least by the undrafted receiver's performance.
"I've known Geronimo's been a player for a long time," Rodgers said, via the team's official website. "He's a fantastic part of our offense. He's a tough, tough kid. Really tough competitor.
"I remember the first day I watched him at training camp, I said, 'How the hell did this guy not get drafted? This kid's fantastic.' He's got a great attitude. It's good having him back."
Rodgers displayed his trust in Allison, targeting the second-year wideout in several key situations. Of Allison's six receptions, four went for first downs, three of which were on third-and-long. Allison also forced a defensive pass interference on another third down to extend a fourth-quarter drive.
As Sunday's come-from-behind victory displayed once again, the Packers might be banged up, but with Rodgers under center, no deficit is insurmountable. Green Bay will just plug in another unheralded player who will be available when the QB calls his number.
Kirk Cousins and his primary new receiver both flopped during the Washington Redskins' 2017 season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField on Sunday. Sadly, the pair had plenty of company during what was a shaky performance from the Burgundy and Gold in losing 30-17 to an NFC East rival.
Cousins and hands-of-stone wideout Terrelle Pryor Sr. weren't helped by an offensive line that was no match for Philadelphia's impressive array of pass-rushers. The continued absence of a running game not sufficiently strengthened this offseason also served to hamstring the Redskins offense.
Based on Week 1, it could be a long year for Washington's offense. It may be longer still for a Redskins defense worked over in the second half by young Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and his receivers.
Incoherent planning from defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, coupled with an inability to finish plays in key moments, wasted some fine individual performances, particularly from newcomers Zach Brown and Terrell McClain.
Read on to find out who are the winners and losers for the Redskins after a disappointing start to the new season.
Winner: Terrell McClain
The Redskins invested heavily in fortifying their defensive line this offseason, so they should be pleased with Terrell McClain's efforts on Sunday.
McClain arrived from the Dallas Cowboys in free agency with a reputation as a disruptive interior D-lineman who is a force against the run. He justified his billing with some solid and perhaps unseen work against the Eagles.
Two plays from the first quarter helped showcase what McClain can bring. The first was a stop for a loss on Wendell Smallwood. McClain made the play thanks to his strength and technique. He began by deftly sliding down the line to take on pulling left tackle Jason Peters.
Staying on the outside of Peters' inside shoulder, McClain was in a great position to shed the block. He did so after slamming into Peters and standing the tackle up, forcing Smallwood to slow down.
McClain then went low to split the gap and knife into the backfield to drop Smallwood for a short loss.
This was a heady play all about recognition and execution. McClain read an outside run and didn't let himself get reach-blocked on the edge. He was too strong for Peters and quick enough to halt Smallwood before he built up speed on the outside.
Later in the quarter, McClain did the unfashionable but essential work to set up a key stop on 3rd-and-short. Zach Brown made the play, taking down LeGarrette Blount to force the Eagles to punt, but the stop owed everything to McClain.
Specifically, the play was created by McClain's ability to hold a double-team. He held up both the tackle and guard to create a clear lane for Brown to exploit and attack downhill.
Linemen controlling multiple blockers so linebackers can make the plays is how the 3-4 is supposed to work.
McClain looked every inch the two-gap monster he's paid to be. His regular-season debut with the Redskins was a far cry from the struggles the 29-year-old experienced during preseason, per Nora Princiotti of the Washington Times.
Instead, this formidable showing only strengthens the belief McClain should replace Ziggy Hood as Washington's starting nose tackle.