Dec. 6, 2011
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Each week throughout the 2011 season, k-statesports.com will highlight former Kansas State football players currently in the NFL.
Brandon Banks, WR/Kick Returner – Washington Redskins
The kick-return specialist for the Washington Redskins, Banks took back six kickoffs for a 22.7-yard average and a pair of punts for 14 total yards in Washington’s 34-19 home loss to the New York Jets on Sunday. In 12 games this season, Banks has returned 39 kickoffs for a 23.2-yard average and a long of 47, while he has taken back 30 punts for a 10.6-yard average and a long of 55. Banks’ punt-return average is fourth in the league among players with 30 or more returns. Washington is 4-8 this season.
Rock Cartwright, RB – Oakland Raiders
A 10th-year veteran who is one of the top special teams players for Oakland, Cartwright played in the Raiders’ 34-14 loss on Sunday at Miami. Cartwright has 11 special teams tackles and two carries for 39 yards in 12 games this season, and he took a yard fake punt 35 yards for a first down in week five at Houston. The Raiders are tied with Denver for the AFC West lead with a 7-5 mark.
Jeromey Clary, OL – San Diego Chargers
A starter at right tackle in all 12 games this season, Clary made his 60th career start for San Diego on Monday night as the Chargers defeated Jacksonville, 38-14. San Diego is tied for third in the AFC West at 5-7.
Zac Diles, LB – Indianapolis Colts
Diles, who had spent the first 12 weeks as a backup linebacker for Tampa Bay, was placed on waivers and picked up by Indianapolis on Monday. In seven games this year for the Buccaneers, Diles had one tackle.
Josh Freeman, QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Freeman, the starting quarterback for Tampa Bay over the last two-plus seasons, was inactive on Sunday for the Buccaneers’ 38-19 loss at home to Carolina. In 11 games this year, Freeman is 254-of-411 (61.8-percent) for 2,715 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has also rushed 38 times for 157 yards and two scores. Tampa Bay tied for third place in the NFC South at 4-8.
Rob Jackson, LB – Washington Redskins
Jackson, a backup linebacker and special teams player for Washington, recorded two tackles in the Redskins’ 34-19 home loss to the New York Jets on Sunday. Jackson has collected seven tackles in 12 games this year for Washington, which is 4-8.
Ryan Lilja, OL – Kansas City Chiefs
Lilja, a starter for the first 10 games of the season, returned for a 10-3 victory on Sunday at Chicago after being inactive the week prior. The Chiefs are now tied for third in the AFC West at 5-7.
Jeron Mastrud, TE – Miami Dolphins
A backup tight end and special teams player, Mastrud played in Miami’s 34-14 home win on Sunday over Oakland. In nine games this year, Mastrud has one catch for seven yards for the Dolphins, who are 4-8.
Jon McGraw, S – Kansas City Chiefs
McGraw, an eight-game starter this season, was stellar in Kansas City’s 10-3 win on Sunday at Chicago. The safety carded three tackles – including a 13-yard sack – and intercepted a pass in the end zone to prevent a Bear touchdown. In nine games this year, McGraw has 43 tackles, three interceptions and six passes defended for the Chiefs, who are tied for third in the AFC West with a 5-7 record.
Video Highlights: Interception | Sack
Jordy Nelson, WR – Green Bay Packers
Nelson was a key component to Green Bay’s come-from-behind victory at the New York Giants on Sunday as the Packers remained undefeated with a 38-35 win. Nelson hauled in four passes for 94 yards, including a key 27-yard reception with 51 seconds remaining to help Green Bay get into the red zone before a game-winning field goal as time expired. Nelson now has at least four receptions in each of the last six games and in eight total games. In his fourth year as a professional, Nelson has 48 receptions for 876 yards and nine scores – all career highs. He is tied for third in the NFL (second among wide receivers) in touchdowns, while he is second in average per catch among players with 40 or more receptions (18.3). Also, his 93-yard touchdown reception against St. Louis in week six remains the third-longest in the league this year. The Packers are still the only unbeaten team in the NFL at 12-0 and lead the NFC North by five games over Chicago and Detroit.
Video Highlight: 21-yd reception | 27-yd reception
Terence Newman, CB – Dallas Cowboys
Newman started and recorded six tackles in Dallas’ 19-13 overtime loss on Sunday at Arizona. Newman, who has 32 career interceptions to tie for seventh in Cowboy history, has 37 tackles this season to go along with seven passes defended and four interceptions. His is tied for fifth in the league in interceptions. The Cowboys lead the NFC East with a 7-5 mark, a game ahead of the New York Giants.
Darren Sproles, RB/Returner – New Orleans Saints
Sproles, an all-purpose player for New Orleans, totaled 161 all-purpose yards as he helped the Saints earn a 31-17 Sunday-night win over Detroit. The dynamic player rushed four times for 28 yards, caught five passes for 46 yards and a touchdown, returned two punts for 13 yards and brought back three kicks for a 24.7-yard average. Sproles, a former draft pick by San Diego, has accounted for 1,909 all-purpose yards this season, including 522 receiving yards on 67 receptions (7.8 yards per catch). He also has seven total touchdowns, coming on four pass receptions, two rushes and a punt return. Sproles is fifth in the league (first among running backs) in receptions, while his 26.8-yard kickoff-return average is third in the league among players with 25 or more returns. The Saints continue to lead the NFC South with a 9-3 mark, two games ahead of Atlanta.
Video Highlights: 6-yd TD reception | 20-yd run
Daniel Thomas, RB – Miami Dolphins
Miami’s primary backup running back, Thomas recorded 73 yards on 13 carries in the Dolphins’ 34-14 win on Sunday at home over Oakland. In nine games this season, Thomas has rushed for 504 rushing yards on 133 carries, while he has caught eight passes for 51 yards and one touchdown. Miami is 4-8 on the season.
Video Highlights: 21-yd run | 15-yd run
Reggie Walker, LB – Arizona Cardinals
Walker, a backup linebacker and special teams player for Arizona, recorded one tackle in the Cardinals’ 19-13 overtime victory at home over Dallas on Sunday. In 12 games this season, Walker has 12 tackles for Arizona, which is tied for second in the NFC West at 5-7.
Video Highlights from NFL.com