Sept. 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, Kick Returner – Washington Redskins
The kick-return specialist for the Washington Redskins, Banks brought back five kickoffs for a 20-yard average and a pair of punts for an eight-yard average in the Redskins’ 18-16 loss at Dallas Monday night. Banks ranks sixth in the league in kickoff-return average among players with seven or more returns (23.0 yards), while he is eighth overall with a 14.2-yard punt return average.
Rock Cartwright, RB – Oakland Raiders
Cartwright, a 10th year NFL veteran, helped Oakland claim a 34-24 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday. The running back was targeted on one pass play – which fell incomplete – while he made one special team’s tackle.
Jeromey Clary, OL – San Diego Chargers
Clary started his 51st career game at right tackle for San Diego on Sunday against Kansas City. The Chargers defeated the Chiefs, 20-17.
Zac Diles, LB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A defensive substitution and special teams player, Diles helped Tampa Bay defeat Atlanta at home, 16-13, on Sunday.
Yamon Figurs, WR – Tennessee Titans
Figurs, who was signed by Tennessee in the offseason, is on injured reserve and will miss the entire 2011 season. The Titans topped Denver at home, 17-14, on Sunday.
Josh Freeman, QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Freeman threw for 180 yards on 22-of-32 aim with two interceptions in Tampa Bay’s 16-13 win over Atlanta on Sunday. The quarterback also rushed 10 times for 35 yards, which included a one-yard touchdown. Freeman is ranks seventh in the NFL in completion percentage (67.9) and is tied for eighth in completions (72).
Video Highlights: 1-yard TD run
Rob Jackson, LB – Washington Redskins
Jackson made one tackle as he played a majority of the second half at linebacker in Washington’s 18-16 loss at Dallas Monday night. The former defensive end also sacked Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo and forced a fumble, but it was taken away due to defensive holding.
Ben Leber, LB – St. Louis Rams
Leber earned another start at weakside linebacker for the St. Louis Rams on Sunday against Baltimore, recording four tackles. The Rams were topped by the Ravens, 37-7.
Ryan Lilja, OL – Kansas City Chiefs
Lilja started his third-straight game to begin the season at left guard and helped the Chiefs offensive line allow just one sack at San Diego. Kansas City lost to the Chargers, 20-17.
Jeron Mastrud, TE – Miami Dolphins
In his third game of the season and his 11th as a professional, Mastrud played in two-tight end sets on Sunday at Cleveland. The Dolphins fell to the Browns, 17-16.
Jon McGraw, S – Kansas City Chiefs
McGraw made his second-straight start at safety for Kansas City on Sunday at San Diego. He carded one tackle before coming out of the game due to injury. The Chiefs lost to the Chargers, 20-17.
Jordy Nelson, WR – Green Bay Packers
Nelson was targeted five times and made three catches for 40 yards – including a long of 18 – in Green Bay’s 27-17 victory at Chicago. Nelson’s 84-yard touchdown reception last week at Carolina still ranks as the second longest in the league this season.
Video Highlights: Pregame Interview on NFL Network
Terence Newman, CB – Dallas Cowboys
A former first round pick by Dallas, Newman saw his first action of the season on Monday night in the Cowboys’ 18-16 victory over Washington. Newman started and broke up one pass, just missing an interception near the sideline.
Darren Sproles, RB/Returner – New Orleans Saints
Sproles started for New Orleans on Sunday against Houston in a two-running back formation. The Olathe, Kan., product rushed twice for 35 yards, including a 30-yard dash to paydirt. He was also the team’s second-leading receiver as he caught six passes for 50 yards, and he returned four kicks for a 25.8-yard average. The running back helped the Saints win a shootout over the Texans, 40-33. Sproles is tied for third in the league in receptions (21) and is second in punt return average (19.6 yards). He also ranks 16th overall in kickoff-return average (29.0 yards), but is tops among players with seven or more returns.
Video Highlights: 30-yd TD run
Daniel Thomas, RB – Miami Dolphins
In his second game as a pro, Thomas rushed for 95 yards on 23 attempts at Cleveland, while he caught three passes for 27 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown to open the game’s scoring. In two games, Thomas is averaging 100.5 yards on the ground. Miami was edged by the Browns, 17-16, on a score with less than one minute remaining.
Video Highlights: 10-yd TD reception
Reggie Walker, LB – Arizona Cardinals
Walker was a defensive substitution and special teams player for Arizona on Sunday in the Cardinals’ 13-10 loss at Seattle.
Video Highlights from NFL.com