K-State in the NFL - Week 17

Jeromey Clary

Jan. 2, 2012

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 regular kick-return specialist for the Washington Redskins, Banks returned two kickoffs for a 26.5-yard average and caught one pass for 10 yards in the Redskins’ 34-10 loss at Philadelphia on Sunday. This season, Banks returned 51 kickoffs for an NFL-leading 1,174 yards. He also returned 36 punts for a 9.1-yard average. Washington finished the season 5-11.

Rock Cartwright, RB – Oakland Raiders
Cartwright, a multi-dimensional player for the Oakland Raiders and a 10th-year veteran, rushed once for one yard in Oakland’s 38-26 loss to San Diego on Sunday. In 16 games this season, Cartwright had 12 special teams tackles and four carries for 45 yards, and he took a yard fake punt 35 yards for a first down in week five at Houston. The Raiders tied for first in the AFC West at 8-8, but lost the tiebreaker to Denver.

Jeromey Clary, OL – San Diego Chargers
Clary, a starter at right tackle in all 16 games this season, made his 64th career start for San Diego on Sunday as the Chargers won at Oakland, 38-26. The Chargers tied for first in the AFC West at 8-8, but lost the division tiebreaker to Denver.

Zac Diles, LB – Indianapolis Colts
Diles, a four-game member of the Colts, played in Indianapolis’ 19-13 loss at Jacksonville on Sunday. Diles, who had spent the first 12 weeks as a backup linebacker for Tampa Bay, had four total tackles this season.

Josh Freeman, QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Freeman, a three-year starter at quarterback for Tampa Bay, threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns on 31-of-45 aim and also rushed for 14 yards in the Buccaneers’ 45-24 loss at Atlanta on Sunday. In 15 games this year, Freeman was 346-of-551 (62.8-percent) for 3,592 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also rushed 55 times for 238 yards and four scores. Tampa Bay finished the season 4-12.
Video Highlights: 5-yd TD pass  |  2-yd TD pass  |  48-yd pass  |  31-yd pass

Rob Jackson, LB – Washington Redskins
Jackson, a backup linebacker and special teams player for Washington, recorded three tackles, including one for a loss, in the Redskins’ 34-10 loss at Philadelphia on Sunday. Jackson collected 10 tackles for Washington this season, which finished 5-11.

Ryan Lilja, OL – Kansas City Chiefs
A 15-game starter this season, Lilja started in Kansas City’s 7-3 win at Denver on Sunday. The Chiefs finished the season with a 7-9 record.

Jeron Mastrud, TE – Miami Dolphins
A backup tight end and special teams player, Mastrud was inactive for Miami’s 19-17 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday. In 14 games this year, Mastrud had one catch for seven yards for the Dolphins, who went 6-10.

Jon McGraw, S – Kansas City Chiefs
McGraw, a nine-game starter for the Chiefs this season, was inactive for a third-straight week for Kansas City’s 7-3 win at Denver on Sunday. In 10 games this year, McGraw had 47 tackles, three interceptions and six passes defended for the Chiefs, who were 7-9.

Jordy Nelson, WR – Green Bay Packers
Nelson had arguably his best game as a professional on Sunday in Green Bay’s 45-41 win over Detroit as he caught nine passes for 162 yards and a career-best three touchdowns. Nelson, who recorded his fifth 100-yard game this season, caught touchdown passes of seven, 36 and 58 yards. He finished the season by hauling in at least one touchdown pass in every home game, while 13 of his 15 touchdown receptions this season came at Lambeau Field. In his fourth year with the Packers, Nelson had 68 receptions for 1,263 yards and 15 scores during the regular season – all career highs. He finished the year third in the NFL (second among wide receivers) in touchdowns and third in the league in average per catch among players with 40 or more receptions (18.6). The former walk-on at Kansas State was ninth in total receiving yards despite the fact that that was tied for 29th in receptions. Also, his 93-yard touchdown reception against St. Louis in week six is the fourth-longest in the league this year. The Packers finished with a 14-1 record and claimed the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the playoffs.
Video Highlights: 36-yd TD reception  |  7-yd TD reception  |  58-yd reception

Terence Newman, CB – Dallas Cowboys
Newman made his 14th start of the year for Dallas in the Cowboys’ 31-14 loss at the New York Giants on Sunday night. Newman, who has 32 career interceptions to tie for seventh in Cowboy history, had five tackles Sunday to give him 54 this season. He also had eight passes defended and four picks. The Cowboys finished the season with an 8-8 record.

Darren Sproles, RB/Returner – New Orleans Saints
Sproles set the NFL single-season all purpose yardage record at 2,696 with his performance Sunday against Carolina, a game in which the Saints won, 45-17. Sproles recorded 168 all purpose yards in the game with 40 yards on six rushes, 29 receiving yards on five catches (one touchdown), 45 total punt-return yards and 54 kickoff yards. Sproles broke the record previously held by Tennessee’s Derrick Mason, who had 2,690 yards in 2000. A former draft pick by San Diego, Sproles has made his biggest impact this season on the receiving end as he accumulated 710 receiving yards on 86 receptions (8.3 yards per catch), while he had 603 yards on the ground. He also had 10 total touchdowns, coming on seven pass receptions, two rushes and a punt return. Sproles finished the regular season seventh in the league (first among running backs) in receptions, while his 27.2-yard kickoff-return average is tops in the league among players with 40 or more returns. The Saints won the NFC South with a 13-3 record and are the No. 3-seed for the playoffs. They host sixth-seeded Detroit on Saturday.
Video Highlights: Setting the NFL all-purpose record  |  9-yd TD reception

Daniel Thomas, RB – Miami Dolphins
Miami’s primary backup running back throughout a majority of the season, Thomas earned the start on Sunday in the Dolphins’ 19-17 victory over the New York Jets. Thomas rushed 12 times for 28 yards and caught a pair of passes for 12 yards. Thomas played in 13 games during his rookie campaign and finished with 581 yards on 165 rushes, while he caught 12 passes for 72 yards and one score. Miami tied for third in the AFC East with a 6-10 record.

Reggie Walker, LB – Arizona Cardinals
Walker, a backup linebacker and special teams player for Arizona, recorded one special teams tackle in the Cardinals’ 23-20 overtime win Sunday over Seattle. In 16 games this season, Walker had 15 tackles for the Cardinals, who were second in the NFC West at 8-8.

Video Highlights from NFL.com