The NFL season has officially begun! 11 Northwestern alums made the 53-man rosters for their respective teams. Here’s a brief look at which Pro ‘Cats saw action throughout the opening weekend of the season:
Sherrick McManis, DB/Special Teams, Chicago Bears: The hardworking McManis deserves a shoutout, as he played in his 100th game for the Monsters of the Midway in atrocious 10-3 loss to the Packers Thursday night. He is now, in addition to being Northwestern’s most veteran alum in the league, the Bears’ longest-tenured player (8 years), a testament to his ability and willingness to do the important work as an unsung special-teamer. He did not record any tackles Thursday night.
Dean Lowry, DE, Green Bay Packers: Much to the chagrin of many a Bears/NU fan, the Packers have 3 Pro ‘Cats on their active roster and another on the PUP list. Lowry started on the defensive line and had three tackles while playing a majority of defensive snaps in his squad’s impressive performance against Mitch Trubisky and the Bears offense.
Tyler Lancaster, NT, Green Bay Packers: The former undrafted free agent remains in the rotation defensively, seeing 14 snaps, though he did not register any tackles in the Packers’ victory.
Dan Vitale, FB, Green Bay Packers: The Packers’ fullback did not record any rushing yards Thursday night, but he was brought out as a blocker by new coach Matt Lafleur in various two-back formations throughout the game.
Anthony Walker, Jr., MLB, Indianapolis Colts: Indy’s starting middle linebacker had a huge day for the Colts despite their agonizing loss, racking up 11 tackles (including one on JJTBC), a team high.
Justin Jackson, RB, Los Angeles Chargers: Melvin Gordon’s contract holdout saw Jackson split carries with Austin Ekeler in the Bolts’ victory over the Colts. Jackson rushed for 57 yards on 6 carries, including a 24-yard burst where he lost his shoe in the process. He also caught one pass for four yards.
With Gordon potentially holding out for another few weeks, Justin will fight for playing time with Austin Ekeler, who played three times as many snaps and also played impressively in the overtime victory. But JJTBC, who was certainly the more efficient rusher of the pair, may see his carry total continue to climb, much like it did down the stretch last season.
Ifeadi Odenigbo, DE, Minnesota Vikings: Odenigbo made the Vikings’ 53-man roster after an impressive preseason; however, he got just 12 snaps in their win over the Falcons, failing to record a stat. The former seventh-round pick will look to increase his role as the season progresses.
Austin Carr, WR, New Orleans Saints: The Saints’ receiver was among those inactive for the Saints’ thrilling victory over the Texans on Monday night. There’s no report of Carr sustaining an injury, so it is likely that he was the odd man out of a talented New Orleans offense. He was rumored to be on the bubble of the Saints roster throughout the preseason, so it will be interesting to see if Carr can get back into the fold in Sean Payton’s system.
Garrett Dickerson, TE, New York Giants: Dickerson was also inactive this week in the Giants’ defeat to the Cowboys. He sustained a minor calf injury late in the preseason and was unable to recover in time for Sunday. Dickerson represents some blocking depth within the Giants organization, so he should see the field when he’s healthy.
Trevor Siemian, QB, New York Jets: Siemien did not see any action in backing up Sam Darnold in the Jets 16-17 loss against Buffalo.
Final Note: In news from up north, Tyrell Sutton has signed on as a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The former Wildcat running back will be partaking in his seventh season in the CFL, making a name for himself in Montreal specifically after initially bouncing briefly between three NFL teams out of college.