Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges has been out of work since he was waived by the Los Angeles Rams on Aug. 23. But per Tuesday’s NFL transactions report, Hodges recently worked out for the New England Patriots, this following on the heels of a tryout with the New York Giants three days earlier.
Cynics will claim that Hodges was in New England mostly to throw passes to the wide receiver (Connor Wedington), running back (Nick Bawden) and tight ends (Miller Forristall and Nakia Griffin-Stewart) that the Patriots worked out at the same time. On the other hand, New England has just one quarterback on its roster right now, that being rookie first-round pick Mac Jones. Once the Pats elevate Brian Hoyer from the practice squad to the active roster, perhaps there’s room for Hodges to join ex-Cowboys/Browns/Panthers quarterback Garrett Gilbert on the practice squad.
‘Duck’ Hodges Has Already Beaten the Odds
It’s not like Hodges hasn’t faced long odds in the NFL before. In 2019, the Samford University (Alabama) product looked good enough at a Steelers minicamp tryout to get signed for $1,000. Against all odds, injuries and circumstance allowed him to go from fourth-stringer to starter in a matter of months.
In fact, he went on to appear in half of Pittsburgh’s games during the 2019 season, winning three of his six starts and both of the games in which he came off the bench. During that time, he completed 100 of 160 pass attempts for 1,063 yards with five touchdowns and eight interceptions, not bad for an undrafted free agent who was completely ignored after the 2019 NFL Draft.
Pittsburgh Artist Creates Tribute to the Late Tunch Ilkin
If you haven’t seen it yet, Pittsburgh-based artist Cody Sabol paid tribute to Tunch Ilkin on Sunday by speed painting a portrait of the late Steelers legend.
Ilkin died this past Saturday at the age of 63 after a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is sometimes referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Ilkin announced his diagnosis in October 2020, but remained in his job as Steelers radio color analyst thru the end of the 2020 season. He went on to announce his retirement from broadcasting in June.
Steelers Nation was heartbroken about the news of Ilkin’s death, as he was part of the organization–either as a player or radio analyst—for most of the past four decades.
Ilkin will be honored over the weekend of November 13-14 when he is posthumously inducted into the Steelers Hall of Honor at a halftime ceremony at that weekend’s home game against the Detroit Lions. Also part of the Hall of Honor Class of 2021 are three other former Steelers players: wide receiver Louis Lipps (1984-91); safety/cornerback Carnell Lake (1989-98); and offensive tackle Jon Kolb (1969-81). Kolb is a former teammate of Ilkin’s and some of Ilkin’s physical therapy took place at Kolb’s workout facility Adventures in Training with a Purpose, which is located in Wexford, Pa.
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