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Shield Spartans: A Weekly NFL Update

Checking in on our former Spartans as the NFL Season gets set to begin this week

Kirk Cousins has earned himself a starting role in Washington
Kirk Cousins has earned himself a starting role in Washington
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL season gets underway this week and there will be a large contingent of former Michigan State Spartans having an impact in the league. Every week on Monday throughout I will check in with our former Spartans and how they are doing in the NFL. This week will be more about looking at where Spartans are on depth charts since preseason stats tend to be pretty worthless. So this segment will have more hard football #takes in future weeks. There was a lot of movement with the NFL roster deadline being this past weekend so this week will be about catching up on the news and movement of the Spartans.


It was an eventful summer for a few former Spartans quarterbacks this summer. Both Brian Hoyer and Kirk Cousins have won the starting lineups in Houston and Washington respectively. Drew Stanton is in the final year of his contract in Arizona backing up Carson Palmer. Stanton had his best pro season last year, appearing in nine games before injuring his knee.

Running Backs

Le'veon Bell headlines the group of former Spartans in the pros as he is expected to have a monster season i 2015. That season will have to wait a little bit, as Bell is currently suspended two games from an off-season marijuana charge, which was originally four games. Jeremy Langford has had a pretty good preseason with the rebuilding Chicago Bears. Langford ended his preseason with 153 yards on 28 runs and has pushed Jacquizz Rodgers for the primary backup role behind Matt Forte. Edwin Baker was cut this past weekend by the New Orleans Saints and as of posting was still a free agent.

Wide Receiver

Bennie Fowler has found a spot in the Denver receiving corps after a strong preseason, finishing with three catches for 67 yards in the finale on Saturday. Keshawn Martin and Keith Mumphery both have found spots in Houston catching passes from Hoyer. It is great to see Mumphery make the roster after he was taken in the 5th round this past spring.

Tight Ends

Dion Sims got a lot of praise in Miami this preseason from  head coach Joe Philbin who likes Sims, even though he will be a clear backup to Jordan Cameron. Kellen Davis signed this offseason with the New York Jets and will be the backup. Garrett Celek will continue to be a depth tight end in San Francisco and Andrew Gleichert was cut this weekend by Philadelphia.

Offensive Line

Dan France was moved to the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad as he will be in his 2nd NFL season. Tyler Hoover is currently a free agent after he was cut by the Indianapolis Colts.

Defensive Line

Domata Peko survived the threat of being cut in Cincinnati where he will amazingly spend his 10th year in the league, all with the same franchise. Third year pro Will Gholston is making the transition from defensive to defensive tacklefor the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season and that flexibility has helped him maintain his roster spot. Kevin Vickerson will miss the 2015 season after injuring his hamstring and Jerel Worthy's disappointing NFL career continued as the Detroit Lions cut the former sack machine.


All three former Spartans linebackers were signed to their respective practice squads with  Max Bullough staying in Houston, Taiwan Jones with the New York Jets and Marcus Rush with the San Francisco 49ers.

Defensive Secondary

Darqueze Dennard battled a groin injury in training camp to push for a starting role in the Cincinnati secondary. The Houston Texans continued their affinity for the Spartans by signing safety Kurtis Drummond to their practice squad. Tony Lippett made the successful transition to cornerback as he successfully made the Miami Dolphins 53 man roster. Lippett has struggled but the Dolphins kept 7 cornerbacks and he has made a name on special teams as a gunner, which is likely a large part of him making the active roster. Trenton Robinson has become a staple on the Washington Redskins special teams unit and will be starting his third season in Washington this year on the active roster. Trae Waynes started the preseason pretty rough but he has since recovered to be currently listed as the 3rd corner in Minnesota. Ross Weaver was released by the Arizona Cardinals and Isaiah Lewis is currently a free agent after spending time with Pittsburgh.


Brandon Fields will be looking for a new landing spot after he lost the punting job in Miami.

Like I said in future weeks I will look into how these players are performing and analyze the statistics but for now I hope I updated you on where all your favorite former Spartans are currently playing. If you have any suggestions or specific things you'd like to see, let me know by dropping a line in the comments. Now go buy a Houston Texans jersey, Houston, East Lansing of the South.