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    Illini in the NFL - Week 17

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    Thomas-Playoffs.jpgTake a look at how former Illini fared in the final week of the NFL season. Eight former Illinois football players have helped lead their teams to the playoffs and six will suit up for the postseason, including Pierre Thomas, Neil Rackers, David Diehl, Steve Weatherford, Martez Wilson and Nate Bussey. Rashard Mendenall and Kelvin Hayden will both miss the playoffs due to injuries. Check out the video links for highlights from NFL.com.

    Former Illini on Playoff Teams

    Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints - Caught three passes for 36 yards and rushed for 30 yards in a 45-17 win over the Panthers. Thomas played in all 16 games, including seven starts, scored six touchdowns (5 rush, 1 receiving), and nearly totaled 1,000 yards of offense with 987 all-purpose yards (562 rushing, 425 receiving) on the season. He will play against the Detroit Lions on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. (CT) during Wild Card Weekend. | NFL Video Highlights

    Neil Rackers, PK, Houston Texans - Converted all thee field goals from 52, 37 and 22 yards along with an extra point in a 23-22 loss to the Titans. Rackers hit 32-of-38 field goals, including a season-long of 54 yards, and 39 extra points on the year. He will play against the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 3:30 p.m. (CT) during Wild Card Weekend. | NFL Video Highlights

    David Diehl, OT, New York Giants - Started at left tackle for the Giants, who clinched a playoff berth with a 31-14 win over the Cowboys. Diehl started all 16 games for the NFC East Champions, who will play the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Jan. 8 at noon (CT) during WIld Card Weekend. | NFL Video Highlights

    Steve Weatherford, P, New York Giants - Averaged 40.3 yards on four punts in a 31-14 win over the Cowboys. Weatherford punted 82 times during the year with an average of 45.7 yards for the Giants, who will play the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Jan. 8 at noon (CT) during WIld Card Weekend. | NFL Video Highlights

    Martez Wilson, LB, New Orleans Saints - Made two tackles, including his first career sack, in a 45-17 win over the Panthers. Wilson played in 13 games during his rookie season, which included his first career start in week three, and totaled 10 tackles and one sack. He will play during Wild Card Weekend for the Saints, who are set to host the Detroit Lions on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. (CT). | NFL Video Highlights

    Nate Bussey, LB, New Orleans Saints - Member of the Practice Squad all season before being promoted to the Saints' active roster for the playoffs. He is one of three Illini set to play for the Saints against the Lions during Wild Card Weekend.

    Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers - Suffered a torn ACL during the first quarter of a 13-9 win over the Browns after picking up 38 yards on the ground and catching a pass for seven yards. Mendenhall will miss the playoffs due to the injury, as the Steelers will host the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 3:30 p.m. (CT) during Wild Card Weekend. On the year, Mendenhall rushed for nine touchdowns and 928 yards while also catching 18 passes for 154 yards. | NFL Video Highlights

    Kelvin Hayden, CB, Atlanta Falcons - Was inactive for the 45-24 win over the Buccaneers due to a toe injury. Hayden played in eight games before missing the final five and being placed on IR. He had 24 tackles, four passes defended and a pair of interceptions for the Falcons, who earned a Wild Card spot. | NFL Video Highlights

    Former Illini Wrap Up Season

    Brandon Lloyd, WR, St. Louis Rams - Notched his second 100-yard receiving game with six catches, including this 36-yard touchdown, in a 34-27 loss to the 49ers. Lloyd, who was traded from the Broncos to the Rams during week six, caught five touchdowns and racked up 966 yards on 70 receptions. | NFL Video Highlights

    Arrelious Benn, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Was inactive for a 45-24 loss to the Falcons due to a neck injury. Benn, who missed two games due to a next injury, started 14 games, caught three touchdowns and finished the year with 30 receptions and 441 receiving yards. | NFL Video Highlights

    Vontae Davis, CB, Miami Dolphins - Turned in two tackles in a 19-17 win over the Jets. Davis, who started 12 games and missed four due to a hamstring injury, matched his career high with four interceptions and ended the year with 43 tackles and eight passes defended. | NFL Video Highlights

    Alan Ball, CB, Dallas Cowboys - Made four tackles in a 31-14 loss to the Giants. Ball played in all 16 games, starting twice at free safety, and totaled 37 tackles, six passes defended and one interception. | NFL Video Highlights

    Corey Liuget, DL, San Diego Chargers - Had one tackle and a pass defended in a 38-26 win over the Raiders. Liuget started 13 games in his rookie season and played in all but week three due to an ankle injury. He wrapped up the year with 19 tackles, including one sack, two passes defended and a forced fumble. | NFL Video Highlights

    Brandon Moore, OG, New York Jets - Started all 16 games at guard for the seventh-consecutive year for the Jets, who fell 19-17 to the Dolphins in the final week of the season. Moore owns the longest active starting streak for guards in the NFL at 121 games.

    Jon Asamoah, OG, Kansas City Chiefs - Started all 16 games at right guard during his second season with the Chiefs, who defeated the Broncos 7-3 in the final week.

    Tony Pashos, OG, Cleveland Browns - Started at right tackle for 12 games during the season but did not play in a 13-9 loss during the final week due to an illness.

    Brit Miller, FB, St. Louis Rams - Played in 12 games, including a start during week 10, before suffering a knee injury and being placed on IR. Miller caught three passes for 41 yards and rushed for 14 yards on the year.

    Josh Brent, DT, Dallas Cowboys - Had one tackle in a 31-14 loss to the Giants. Brent, who was hampered at times due to a knee injury, saw action in 11 games and notched six tackles on the season.

    Michael Hoomanawanui, TE, St. Louis Rams - Started eight of the first nine games before tearing his ACL and missing the final seven contests. Hoomanawanui made seven catches for 83 yards before going on IR.

    Jeff Cumberland, TE, New York Jets - Played in the first three games of the season before missing the remainder of the season due to a torn Achilles. Cumberland posted two catches for 35 yards before going on IR.

    Mikel Leshoure, RB, Detroit Lions - Spent the year on IR after suffering a torn Achilles before the season started.

    Eddie McGee, WR, Oakland Raiders - Member of the Practice Squad

    J Leman, LB, Oakland Raiders - Spent time as a member of the Practice Squad

    Travon Bellamy, DB, Washington Redskins - Spent time as a member of the Practice Squad

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