NFL football is underway, and a handful of ex-Wildcats are competing against the sport’s toughest competition this season. During the first two weeks, some former NU players continued to fight for their spots while others solidified their roles as rotation players.
Here’s how they fared so far and what next week has in store
Anthony Walker Jr.: Indianapolis Colts
After Walker missed a bulk of training camp and preseason, the Colts gave rookie Skai Moore more playing time than expected at the middle inside linebacker position, including the starting job in the Week 1 matchup against the Bengals. Both linebackers played an even amount of snaps in Week 1 (26 for Moore and 23 for Walker), and while Walker had to split the time, he still was able to contribute with 5 tackles.
In Week 2 against the Redskins, Walker got the start and recorded eight total tackles on the day, solidifying himself as the starter again.
Austin Carr: New Orleans Saints
The Saints announced Austin Carr as a surprise starter for opening day against the Buccaneers. Cameron Meredith was as a healthy scratch as a result of missing training camp time due to his ACL and MCL recovery. After earning Drew Brees’s trust, the Saints gave Carr the No. 3 wideout spot for the day. He was targeted twice on the day and caught both for 20 yards.
“We thought he graded out well,” head coach Sean Payton said. “The ball came to him, he made the plays he needed to. He blocked well inside. We thought he did a good job.”
After the Saints chose to sit Meredith again for the Week 2 matchup against Cleveland, Carr got the starting spot again. He was targeted once in the first quarter, which resulted in a 25-yard pass interference penalty, but he did not have any receptions on the day.
With Meredith still a question, Carr could continue to see significant playing time early on this season.
Brian Peters: Houston Texans
Peters was named a captain of the Texans in his fifth season in the NFL. After not recording any stats in the Week 1 loss to New England, Peters earned his playing time and recorded a tackle in the loss to Tennessee on Sunday. Known as a special teams ace, he currently holds the second-string middle inside linebacker position for Houston and has a solid chance of earning decent playing time this season.
Joe Jones: Denver Broncos
After limited playing time last season, recording only three tackles, Jones is looking to become a more integral part of the Broncos defense and special teams. Surprisingly, he did not see a single defensive snap in Week 1 against Seattle, but he played many special teams snaps and recorded two tackles. In Week 2 against the Raiders, he did not see the field and still looks to earn more time.
Ibraheim Campbell: Dallas Cowboys
After the Cowboys claimed him off waivers on Sept. 2, Campbell looked to make an impact as a member of Dallas’s active roster. In the Week 1 loss to Carolina, he did not see the field and still sits as the third-string free safety behind Xavier Woods and Tyree Robinson. He didn’t record any stats on Sunday Night Football against the New York Giants.
Dean Lowry: Green Bay Packers
Lowry has become a regular part of the Packers’ defensive rotation as the second-string defensive end behind Muhammad Wilkerson. He played upwards of 600 snaps last season and has already made an impact this year. He recorded one tackle in the Week 1 comeback win over Chicago and two tackles in the Week 2 tie with Minnesota. Green Bay sits at 1-0-1 and will go on to face the Redskins next Sunday.
Sherrick McManis: Chicago Bears
McManis currently holds a minor role on the Bears active roster this season as the third-string cornerback and will see the field primarily on special teams. In the Week 1 loss to Green Bay, he only played three snaps on defense and recorded no stats. He recorded one tackle in a 24-17 win over Seattle on Monday Night Football.
Ifeadi Odenigbo: Cleveland Browns
The Browns have listed the third-string defensive end as inactive for the past two weeks.
Trevor Siemian: Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins saw 100 percent of the offensive snaps in the first two outings this season, but Siemian sits comfortably at backup quarterback. He may see the occasional snap, but barring an injury or major development, he will remain in his current situation.