K-State in the NFL - Week 16

Jordy Nelson

Dec. 27, 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
Banks, the regular kick-return specialist for the Washington Redskins, returned three kickoffs for a 26.7-yard average and three punts for 14 total yards in the Redskins' 33-26 home loss to Minnesota on Saturday. In 15 games this year, Banks has returned 49 kickoffs for a 22.9-yard average and a long of 47, while he has taken back 34 punts for a 9.7-yard average and a long of 55. Banks leads the league in total kickoff return yardage with 1,121 yards, 86 yards ahead of Darren Sproles. Washington is 5-10 this season.

Rock Cartwright, RB - Oakland Raiders
A multi-dimensional player for the Oakland Raiders and a 10th-year veteran, Cartwright caught one pass for eight yards in Oakland's 16-13 overtime victory at Kansas City on Saturday. In 15 games this season, Cartwright has 12 special teams tackles and three carries for 44 yards, and he took a yard fake punt 35 yards for a first down in week five at Houston. The Raiders head into the final week of the regular season tied for first in the AFC West with Denver at 8-7.

Jeromey Clary, OL - San Diego Chargers
Clary, a starter at right tackle in all 15 games this season, made his 63rd career start for San Diego on Saturday as the Chargers lost at Detroit, 38-10. The Chargers are now 7-8.

Zac Diles, LB - Indianapolis Colts
A three-game member of the Colts, Diles played in Indianapolis' 19-16 victory Thursday night over Houston - the Colts' second straight victory and second win of the season. Diles, who had spent the first 12 weeks as a backup linebacker for Tampa Bay, was picked up off waivers by Indianapolis four weeks ago and now has three total tackles this season.

Josh Freeman, QB - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A three-year starter at quarterback for Tampa Bay, Freeman threw for 274 yards and a touchdown on 28-of-38 aim and also rushed for t a touchdown, but the Buccaneers lost at Carolina, 48-16, on Saturday. In 14 games this year, Freeman is 315-of-506 (62.3-percent) for 3,318 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has also rushed 52 times for 224 yards and four scores. Freeman is eighth in the NFL in completion percentage. Tampa Bay is now 4-11 this year.
Video Highlights: 4-yd TD pass  |  1-yd TD run  |  29-yd pass

Rob Jackson, LB - Washington Redskins
A backup linebacker and special teams player for Washington, Jackson played in the Redskins' 33-26 home loss to Minnesota on Saturday. In 15 games this season, Jackson has collected seven tackles for Washington, which is 5-10.

Ryan Lilja, OL - Kansas City Chiefs
A 14-game starter this season, Lilja started in Kansas City's 16-13 overtime loss at home to Oakland on Saturday. He helped the Chiefs gain 435 yards, including 135 on the ground. Kansas City is 6-9 this season.

Jeron Mastrud, TE - Miami Dolphins
A backup tight end and special teams player, Mastrud played in Miami's 27-24 loss at New England on Saturday. In 14 games this year, Mastrud has one catch for seven yards for the Dolphins, who are 5-10.

Jon McGraw, S - Kansas City Chiefs
A nine-game starter for the Chiefs this season, McGraw was inactive for a second-straight week for Kansas City's 16-13 overtime loss to Oakland on Saturday. In 10 games this year, McGraw has 47 tackles, three interceptions and six passes defended for the Chiefs, who are 6-9.

Jordy Nelson, WR - Green Bay Packers
Nelson started and caught six passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns in Green Bay's 35-21 win over Chicago on Sunday night. With the performance, Nelson eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving barrier for the first time in his career, while it was his fourth 100-yard game this season. His first touchdown of the night came on a 55-yard pass in the third quarter, while he caught a 2-yard pass for a score to begin the fourth period. Additionally, Nelson has caught at least one touchdown pass in every home game this year. In his fourth year with the Packers, Nelson has 59 receptions for 1,101 yards and 12 scores - all career highs. He is third in the NFL (second among wide receivers) in touchdowns, and is tops in the league in average per catch among players with 40 or more receptions (18.7). The former walk-on at Kansas State is 12th in total receiving yards despite the fact that that is his tied for 35th in receptions.  Also, his 93-yard touchdown reception against St. Louis in week six is the fourth-longest in the league this year. With the victory, the 14-1 Packers clinched the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Video Highlights: 55-yd TD reception  |  2-yd TD reception  |  25-yd reception

Terence Newman, CB - Dallas Cowboys
Newman made his 13th start of the year for Dallas and came away a team-high six tackles in the Cowboys' 20-7 loss at Philadelphia on Saturday. Newman, who has 32 career interceptions to tie for seventh in Cowboy history, has 49 tackles this season to go along with eight passes defended and four picks. The Cowboys are tied for the NFC East lead with the New York Giants at 8-7.

Darren Sproles, RB/Returner - New Orleans Saints
Sproles helped the New Orleans Saints win the NFC South and was on the receiving end of history Monday night during the Saints' 45-16 victory over Atlanta on Monday night. Sproles totaled 236 all-purpose yards and hauled in a nine-yard pass from quarterback Drew Brees, which was the pass that broke the NFL's single-season passing yardage mark. Sproles caught two passes for 22 yards, was the game's leading rusher with 67 yard on five carries, while he returned four kickoffs for 147 total yards, including a 92-yarder. A former draft pick by San Diego, Sproles leads the NFL with 2,528 all-purpose yards this season and needs 162 in week 17 to break the NFL record. He also now has 12,486 all-purpose yards in his career, which is ninth among active players. Sproles has made his biggest impact this season on the receiving end as he has accumulated 681 receiving yards on 81 receptions (8.4 yards per catch), while he has 563 yards on the ground, becoming the second player in NFL history with 500 yards rushing and receiving, and 1,000 combined return yards in a season (first was Dick Christy for the 1962 New York Jets). He also has nine total touchdowns, coming on six pass receptions, two rushes and a punt return. Sproles is sixth in the league (first among running backs) in receptions, while his 27.2-yard kickoff-return average is third in the league among players with 30 or more returns. The Saints enter the final week of the regular season with a 12-3 record.
Video Highlights: 9-yd TD reception  |  92-yd kickoff return  |  36-yd run  |  16-yd run

Daniel Thomas, RB - Miami Dolphins
Thomas, Miami's primary backup running back, rushed twice for three yards in the Dolphins' 27-14 loss at New England on Saturday. In 12 games during his rookie campaign, Thomas has rushed for 553 rushing yards on 153 carries, while he has caught 10 passes for 60 yards and one touchdown. Miami is now 5-10 this season.

Reggie Walker, LB - Arizona Cardinals
A backup linebacker and special teams player for Arizona, Walker recorded a pair of special teams tackles in the Cardinals' 23-16 loss at Cincinnati on Saturday. In 15 games this season, Walker has 14 tackles for the Cardinals, who are tied for second in the NFC West at 7-8.

Video Highlights from NFL.com