By Matt Stevens - IlliniGuys Football Writer/Analyst
September 13, 2021
(Cover photo courtesy USA Today/Troy Taormina)
Whitney Mercilus, DE/LB, Houston Texans - In a 37-21 home win over Jacksonville, Mercilus opened his 10th season in the National Football League with a sack, a tackle for loss and three total tackles in his 102nd career start. Mercilus was an impact pass rusher in the defense being run by former Illinois head coach Lovie Smith.
Dawuane Smoot, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars - In a 37-21 road loss to Houston, Smoot (who is entering his fifth season in the NFL) played 36 snaps of defense Sunday without recording any statistics.
Jihad Ward, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars - In a 37-21 road loss to Houston, Ward (who is entering his sixth season in the NFL) played 43 snaps of defense and two snaps of special teams Sunday and recorded four tackles and one quarterback hit.
Justin Hardee, DB, New York Jets - In a 19-14 road loss at Carolina, Hardee (who is in his fifth season in the NFL) had a first-quarter tackle on punt coverage and got several opportunities off the bench on special teams Sunday.
Tavon Wilson, DB, San Francisco 49ers - In his 10th season in the NFL, Wilson had a tackle on special teams as a reserve defensive back in the 49ers 41-33 win at Detroit Sunday.
Kendrick Green, C, Pittsburgh Steelers - After being drafted in the third round of the 2021 draft, Green started at center and played 55 snaps in the 23-16 road win at Buffalo Sunday afternoon. Green was instrumental in a Steelers offense that got 75 yards on 21 carries and allowed just two sacks to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Nick Allegreti, OL, Kansas City Chiefs - Allegretti played on five snaps of special teams in Kansas City’s come-from-behind 33-29 home victory over Cleveland on Sunday.
Chase McLaughlin, K, Cleveland Browns - In the 33-29 road loss at Kansas City, McLaughlin was 3 for 3 on extra point attempts and had three touchbacks on kickoffs Sunday.
Clayton Fejedelem, DB, Miami Dolphins - In the 17-16 road win at New England, Fejedelem was a co-captain and played 18 snaps of special teams action.
Ted Karras, OL, New England Patriots - In the 17-16 home loss to Miami, Karras was on the field for four snaps of special teams action.
NOTE: Nate Hobbs, who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2021 draft, is expected to play and potentially start tonight for the Las Vegas Raiders in his professional football debut as the Raiders host the Baltimore Ravens on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
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