MANHATTAN, Kan. – Each week throughout the 2012 season, k-statesports.com will highlight former Kansas State football players currently in the NFL.
Brandon Banks, WR/Kick Returner – Washington Redskins
The third-year kick-return specialist for the Washington Redskins, Banks opened up the 2012 campaign by returning two kickoffs for a 24.5-yard average, four punts for an 8.5-yard average – including a long of 20 yards, while catching one pass for six yards as he helped the Redskins win at New Orleans, 40-32, on Sunday. The Redskins are one of three NFC East teams that began the season with a victory.
Bryce Brown, RB – Philadelphia Eagles
Brown, a rookie, played in his first career NFL game Sunday, helping the Philadelphia Eagles earn a 17-16 victory at Cleveland. The running back carried twice for three yards, including a four-yard rush on his first career carry. Like the Redskins, the Eagles were one of three NFC East squads to pick up a win in week one.
Jeromey Clary, OL – San Diego Chargers
In his sixth year in the NFL, Clary started at right tackle for San Diego, which captured a 22-14 victory at Oakland Monday night. The offensive lineman helped protect quarterback Phillips Rivers, who threw for 226 yards and was sacked just once.
Zac Diles, LB – Tennessee Titans
A fifth-year linebacker, Diles was inactive for Tennessee’s 34-13 season-opening setback at home against New England on Sunday.
Josh Freeman, QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Freeman, the fourth-year starting quarterback for Tampa Bay, guided the Buccaneers to a 16-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers at home on Sunday. The quarterback went 16-of-24 for 138 and a touchdown through the air, while he ran seven times for 13 yards. Tampa Bay was one of two NFC South teams to open the year with a 1-0 record.
Video Highlight: 6-yd TD pass
Tysyn Hartman, S – Kansas City Chiefs
An undrafted rookie free agent that made the active roster, Hartman played on special teams for Kansas City in its 40-24 loss at home to Atlanta on Sunday. The Wichita product did not record any statistics.
Rob Jackson, LB – Washington Redskins
A fourth-year linebacker and special teams player for the Redskins, Jackson helped Washington stave off a Saint comeback with a 40-32 victory at New Orleans on Sunday. The linebacker did not record any statistics as the Redskins were one of three NFC East teams to begin the year 1-0.
Ryan Lilja, OL – Kansas City Chiefs
A nine-year veteran starter along the offensive line, Lilja started at left guard in Kansas City’s 40-24 loss at home to Atlanta on Sunday. It was Lilja’s 90th career start, including his 31st for the Chiefs.
Jeron Mastrud, TE – Miami Dolphins
Mastrud, who is beginning his third NFL season, played on special teams and in two-tight end sets in Miami’s 30-10 loss at Houston on Sunday.
Jordy Nelson, WR – Green Bay Packers
Beginning his fifth season in the NFL, Nelson tallied five receptions for 64 yards in Green Bay’s 30-22 season-opening loss to San Francisco on Sunday. The receiver, who made his 16th career start, hauled in a fourth-quarter two-point conversion to cut the 49’er lead to eight.
Terence Newman, CB – Cincinnati Bengals
Newman started at one of the cornerback positions for Cincinnati, which lost at Baltimore, 44-13, Monday night. The 10th-year player made three tackles in his first game with the Bengals after spending the previous nine years with Dallas.
William Powell, RB – Arizona Cardinals
A member of the practice squad for the Cardinals last season, Powell was inactive for his first game on the active roster on Sunday as Arizona defeated Seattle at home, 20-16.
Darren Sproles, RB/Returner – New Orleans Saints
An all-purpose player for the New Orleans Saints that broke the NFL record for all-purpose yards last season, Sproles started at running back and totaled 152 all-purpose yards in New Orleans’ 40-32 home loss to Washington on Sunday. The eighth-year back hauled in five passes for 35 yards and a touchdown, while he averaged 34.3 yards on three kickoff returns – including a 48 yarder – and seven yards on a pair of punt returns. He also ran in a two-point conversion that cut the Redskin lead to eight in the fourth quarter. Following the first week of play, Sproles ranks third in the league in kickoff-return average and fourth in kickoff-return yardage.
Video Highlight: 2-yd TD catch
Daniel Thomas, RB – Miami Dolphins
Thomas, who is in his second year in the NFL, came off the bench to rush three times for 11 yards in Miami’s 30-10 loss at Houston on Sunday.
Reggie Walker, LB – Arizona Cardinals
A backup linebacker and special teams player for Arizona, Walker made four solo tackles on defense and assisted on a special-teams tackle as he helped the Cardinals earn a 20-16 victory over Seattle on Sunday. Arizona is one of two NFC West squads that began the season 1-0.
Video Highlights from NFL.com