Dec. 13, 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, added to his repertoire on Sunday when he threw a 49-yard touchdown pass on a double reverse against New England. He also returned six kickoffs for a 19.5-yard average in the Redskins’ 34-27 loss to the Patriots. Banks’ touchdown pass came early in the second quarter and put Washington on top, 17-14. In 13 games this year, Banks has returned 45 kickoffs for a 22.7-yard average and a long of 47, while he has taken back 30 punts for a 10.6-yard average and a long of 55. Banks’ punt-return average is fifth in the league among players with 30 or more returns. Washington is 4-9 this season.
Video Highlight: 49-yd TD pass
Rock Cartwright, RB – Oakland Raiders
An multi-dimensional player for the Oakland Raiders and a 10th-year veteran, Cartwright rushed once for five yards, caught a pair of passes for 16 yards and made one special teams tackle in Oakland’s 46-16 loss at Green Bay on Sunday. Cartwright has 12 special teams tackles and three carries for 44 yards in 13 games this season, and he took a yard fake punt 35 yards for a first down in week five at Houston. The Raiders are second in the AFC West at 7-6, one game behind Denver.
Jeromey Clary, OL – San Diego Chargers
Clary, a starter at right tackle in all 13 games this season, made his 61st career start for San Diego on Sunday as the Chargers topped Buffalo, 37-10. Clary helped San Diego gain 366 yards, including 150 on the ground. The Chargers are third in the AFC West at 6-7.
Zac Diles, LB – Indianapolis Colts
Diles, who had spent the first 12 weeks as a backup linebacker for Tampa Bay, was picked up off waivers by Indianapolis two weeks ago and played in the Colts’ 24-10 loss at Baltimore on Sunday. In eight games this year, Diles had one tackle.
Josh Freeman, QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Following a week in which he was inactive, Freeman started for Tampa Bay in its 41-14 loss at Jacksonville on Sunday. The third-year quarterback threw for 181 yards on 16-of-30 aim and also rushed four times for 26 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown. In 12 games this year, Freeman is 270-of-441 (61.2-percent) for 2,896 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has also rushed 42 times for 183 yards and three scores. Tampa Bay tied for third place in the NFC South at 4-9.
Video Highlights: 13-yd TD run | 28-yd pass
Rob Jackson, LB – Washington Redskins
A backup linebacker and special teams player for Washington, Jackson played in the Redskins’ 34-27 loss to New England on Sunday. In 13 games this season, Jackson has collected seven tackles for Washington, which is 4-9.
Ryan Lilja, OL – Kansas City Chiefs
A starter for the first 10 games of the season, Lilja has started the last two games, including on Sunday in Kansas City’s 37-10 loss at the New York Jets. The Chiefs are now 5-8 this season.
Jeron Mastrud, TE – Miami Dolphins
A backup tight end and special teams player, Mastrud started his third game of the year in Miami’s 26-10 home loss against Philadelphia on Sunday. In 13 games this year, Mastrud has one catch for seven yards for the Dolphins, who are 4-9.
Jon McGraw, S – Kansas City Chiefs
A nine-game starter for Kansas City this season, McGraw came away with four tackles in the Chiefs’ 37-10 loss at the New York Jets on Sunday. In 10 games this year, McGraw has 47 tackles, three interceptions and six passes defended for the Chiefs, who are 5-8.
Jordy Nelson, WR – Green Bay Packers
Nelson remains one of the top receiving threats for the NFL’s top team as he came away with three receptions for 81 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown, in a 46-16 win over Oakland on Sunday. Nelson now has at least three receptions in each of the last seven games and in 11 total games. In his fourth year, Nelson has 51 receptions for 957 yards and 10 scores – all career highs. He is tied for third in the NFL (second among wide receivers) in touchdowns, ranks 11th in total receiving yards, and he is tops in the league in average per catch among players with 40 or more receptions (18.8). Also, his 93-yard touchdown reception against St. Louis in week six remains the third-longest in the league this year. The Packers are still the only unbeaten team in the NFL at 13-0 and have clinched the NFC North title.
Video Highlighst: 37-yd TD reception | 31-yd reception
Terence Newman, CB – Dallas Cowboys
Making his 11th start of the season for Dallas, Newman recorded three tackles and broke up a pass in the Cowboys’ 37-34 loss on Sunday against the New York Giants. Newman, who has 32 career interceptions to tie for seventh in Cowboy history, has 40 tackles this season to go along with eight passes defended and four picks. He is tied for seventh in the league in interceptions. The Cowboys are tied for the NFC East lead with the Giants at 7-6.
Darren Sproles, RB/Returner – New Orleans Saints
Sproles was a major part of New Orleans’ offense and special teams – as he has been nearly every week – in the Saints’ 22-17 win at Tennessee on Sunday. The dynamic player caught seven passes for 58 yards and rushed twice for six yards, while he also returned three punts for 18 yards and a pair of kickoffs for a 21-yard average. A former draft pick by San Diego, Sproles has accounted for 2,060 all-purpose yards this season, including 580 receiving yards on 74 receptions (7.8 yards per catch). He also has seven total touchdowns, coming on four pass receptions, two rushes and a punt return. Sproles is fourth in the league (first among running backs) in receptions, while his 26.2-yard kickoff-return average is third in the league among players with 30 or more returns. The Saints have clinched the NFC South title and currently hold a 10-3 record.
Daniel Thomas, RB – Miami Dolphins
Thomas, Miami’s primary backup running back, rushed seven times for four yards and caught two passes for nine yards in the Dolphins’ 26-10 loss on Sunday against Philadelphia. In 10 games this season, Thomas has rushed for 508 rushing yards on 140 carries, while he has caught 10 passes for 60 yards and one touchdown. Miami is 4-9 on the season.
Reggie Walker, LB – Arizona Cardinals
A backup linebacker and special teams player for Arizona, Walker played in Arizona’s 21-19 victory over division-leader San Francisco on Sunday. In 13 games this season, Walker has 12 tackles for the Cardinals, who are tied for second in the NFC West at 6-7.
Video Highlights from NFL.com