K-State in the NFL - Week 9

Terence Newman

Nov. 8, 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 Washington, Banks averaged 23.3 yards on a pair of kickoff returns, including a long of 34, in the Redskins’ 19-11 loss at home Sunday to San Francisco. In eight games this season, Banks has returned 26 kickoffs for a 23.8-yard average and a long of 47, while he has taken back 21 punts for an 8.4-yard average and a long of 35. Banks’ kickoff-return average is third in the league among players with 20 or more returns. Washington is tied for third in the NFC East at 3-5.

Rock Cartwright, RB – Oakland Raiders
A backup running back and special teams player for Oakland, Cartwright recorded a pair of special teams tackles in the Raiders’ 38-24 loss at home on Sunday to Denver. A 10th year NFL veteran, Cartwright has nine special teams tackles this season, while he took a fake punt 35 yards for a first down at Houston. Oakland is tied for the AFC West lead with Kansas City and San Diego at 4-4.

Jeromey Clary, OL – San Diego Chargers
A starter in all eight games this season, Clary made his 56th career start on Sunday in San Diego’s 45-38 loss at home to Green Bay. He helped the Chargers gain 460 total offensive yards, while quarterback Phillip Rivers was sacked just twice. The Chargers are tied for the AFC West lead with Kansas City and Oakland at 4-4.

Thomas Clayton, RB – Cleveland Browns
Clayton was signed by Cleveland on November 1, and he played in the Browns’ 30-12 loss on Sunday at Houston. The running back rushed five times for 10 yards for the Browns, who are 3-5 this season.

Zac Diles, LB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A backup linebacker for Tampa Bay, Diles was inactive in the Buccaneers’ 27-16 loss on Sunday at New Orleans. This season, Diles has one tackle for Tampa Bay, which is third in the NFC South at 4-4.

Yamon Figurs, WR – Tennessee Titans
Figurs, an off-season acquisition by Tennessee, is on injured reserve and will miss the entire 2011 season. The Titans lost at home on Sunday to Cincinnati, 24-17. Tennessee is second in the AFC South with a 4-4 record.

Josh Freeman, QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The starting quarterback for Tampa Bay over the last two-plus seasons, Freeman was 27-of-37 for 281 yards and a touchdown Sunday at New Orleans. The Buccaneers lost the game, 27-16, in a contest that featured two of K-State’s top offensive stars over the past decade in Freeman and Saints’ running back Darren Sproles. In eight games this season, Freeman is 193-of-307 (62.9-percent) for 2,004 yards and eight touchdowns. He has also rushed 31 times for 117 yards and two scores. Freeman is tied for fourth in the NFL in completions, while he is tied for eighth in completion percentage. Tampa Bay is third in the NFC South with a 4-4 mark.
Video Highlights: 5-yd TD pass  |  46-yd pass  |  36-yd pass

Rob Jackson, LB – Washington Redskins
Jackson, a backup linebacker and special teams player for Washington, played in the Redskins’ 19-11 loss at home on Sunday to San Francisco. This season, Jackson has collected five tackles in eight games. Washington is tied for third in the NFC East at 3-5.

Ben Leber, LB – St. Louis Rams
A starter in the first four games of the 2011 season, Leber came off the bench for a second-straight game as the St. Louis Rams dropped a 19-13 overtime decision at Arizona on Sunday. This season, the linebacker has 12 tackles for the Rams, who are 1-7.

Ryan Lilja, OL – Kansas City Chiefs
A starter at left guard for the first eight games of the season, Lilja and the Kansas City Chiefs suffered a loss on Sunday at home against Miami. Lilja helped Kansas City gain 343 total yards, including 116 on the ground. The Chiefs are now 4-4 this season, who are tied for the AFC West lead with San Diego and Oakland.

Jeron Mastrud, TE – Miami Dolphins
Mastrud played in a game that featured four former Wildcats at Kansas City on Sunday, and he helped the Dolphins come away with a 31-3 victory, their first of the season. This season, Mastrud has one catch for seven yards for Miami, which is now 1-7.

Jon McGraw, S – Kansas City Chiefs
McGraw, who has started five games this season, was inactive in Kansas City’s 31-3 loss at home Sunday against Miami. In seven games this year, the safety has 33 tackles, four passes defended, two interceptions and one forced fumble. The Chiefs are now tied for the AFC West lead at 4-4 with San Diego and Oakland.

Jordy Nelson, WR – Green Bay Packers
Nelson came off the bench Sunday at San Diego to record his second 100-yard game of the year as he hauled in five receptions for 105 yards – including a 64-yard catch and a 16-yard touchdown – in the Packers’ 45-38 win. It was the fourth 100-yard game of his career and the second in the last three games. Nelson, a fourth-year player, has 29 receptions for 570 yards and five touchdowns this season. He ranks fourth in the NFL in average per catch among players with 20 or more receptions (19.7) and is tied for ninth in touchdowns, while his 93-yard touchdown reception against St. Louis is the third-longest this year. Green Bay remains the only undefeated team in the NFL and leads the NFC North with an 8-0 mark.
Video Highlights: 16-yd TD reception  |  64-yd reception

Terence Newman, CB – Dallas Cowboys
Newman started his sixth game of the season on Sunday in Dallas’ 23-13 win at home over Seattle. The former first-round pick carded five tackles and returned an interception 17 yards to set up a Cowboy field goal. In six games this year, Newman has 22 tackles, two interceptions and four passes defended. The Cowboys are in second place in the NFC East with a 4-4 record.
Video Highlight: 17-yd interception return

Darren Sproles, RB/Returner – New Orleans Saints
Sproles, an all-purpose player for New Orleans, came off the bench to help the Saints defeat divisional rival Tampa Bay, 27-16, at home on Sunday. Sproles carded five receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown, rushed four times for 42 yards – including a 35-yarder – and returned a pair of kickoffs for a 27-yard average. A former San Diego draft pick, Sproles has accounted for 1,499 all-purpose yards this season, including 446 receiving yards on 56 receptions (8.0 yards per catch). He also has six total touchdowns, coming on three pass receptions, two rushes and a punt return. Sproles second in the league in receptions, while his 26.2-yard kickoff-return average is tops in the league among players with 20 or more returns. The Saints lead the NFC South by a half game over Atlanta with a 6-3 mark.
Video Highlights: 21-yd TD reception  |  35-yd run

Daniel Thomas, RB – Miami Dolphins
Thomas played in his fifth game this season as he helped Miami earn its first win with a 31-3 victory at Kansas City on Sunday. The second-round draft pick rushed seven times for 12 yards in the contest. In five games this season, the running back has rushed for 314 yards on 82 carries, while he has seven catches for 49 yards and one touchdown. The Dolphins are now 1-7 this season.

Reggie Walker, LB – Arizona Cardinals
Walker recorded a tackle on the opening kickoff in Arizona’s 19-13 overtime victory at home over St. Louis on Sunday. The backup linebacker and defensive player has 11 tackles for the 2-6 Cardinals, who are tied for second in the NFC West.

Video Highlights from NFL.com