Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. Whitney Mercilus had a pair of sacks for the Texans, Jeff Cumberland scored the game-winning TD for the Jets and Mikel Leshoure scored his sixth TD in the last five games for the Lions to highlight Week 13 action.
Whitney Mercilus, DE, Houston Texans - Mercilus played a large defensive
role in the Texans 24-10 win over the Titans with two sacks and a fumble
recovery. The rookie has 19 tackles and 5.0 sacks on the season. Watch
Mercilus' First Sack | Watch
Mercilus' Second Sack
Jeff Cumberland, TE, New York Jets - Cumberland caught the only touchdown pass of the game from third-string QB Greg McElroy. The Jets backup tight end also grabbed a 24-yard pass in the 7-6 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Cumberland now has 233 yards on 21 receptions for the year. Watch Cumberland's TD Catch
Mikel Leshoure, RB, Detroit Lions - Leshoure rushed for 57 yards on 21 carries (2.7 yards/carry) including a six-yard touchdown run. Leshoure has now scored six touchdowns in the past five games. However, the Lions came up short in their 35-33 loss to the Colts. Watch Leshoure's TD Run
Josh Brent, DT, Dallas Cowboys - Brent delivered a major performance for the Cowboys with two tackles in addition to forcing a fumble which was then recovered and returned for a TD by teammate Morris Claiborne. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 38-33 in Dallas. Watch Brent's Forced Fumble
Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints - Thomas rushed for 84 yards on 14 attempts and also caught a five-yard pass in the Saints 23-13 loss to the Falcons in Atlanta.
Vontae Davis, CB, Indianapolis Colts -Davis returned from injury in full force, recording an impressive six solo tackles (one for a loss) in addition to earning a pass deflection in the 35-33 last-second win over the Detroit Lions.
Brandon Moore, OG, New York Jets - Right guard Brandon Moore made his 133rd consecutive start as he and the Jets offensive line cleared the way for the Jets to rack up 177 rush yards in their 7-6 win over the Cardinals.
Corey Liuget, DE, San Diego Chargers - Liuget recorded five tackles to bring his season total to 36 in the 20-13 home loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jeff Allen, OT, Kansas City Chiefs - In his ninth consecutive start as a Chief, Allen cleared the way for the Chiefs 158 rush yards and allowed only one sack on QB Brady Quinn in the 27-21 win over the Panthers.
Jon Asamoah, OG, Kansas City Chiefs - Asamoah started in his 11th game of the season, anchoring the offensive line to solid game against the Panthers. The Chiefs totaled 355 total yards on their way to a 27-21 win.
Brandon Lloyd, WR, New England Patriots - Lloyd snagged one catch for 10 yards and also seized an onside kick to help the Patriots defeat the Dolphins 23-16 and clinch their fourth straight AFC East title.
David Diehl, OT, New York Giants - In his fourth consecutive start since his injury, Diehl and the Giants offensive line paved the way for 117 rush yards and gave up only one sack to the Redskins in the Giants 17-16 loss on Monday night.
Tavon Wilson, FS, New England Patriots - Wilson posted one tackle in the 23-16 win over the Miami Dolphins to clinch the AFC East title for the fourth straight year.
Steve Weatherford, P, New York Giants - Punted three times for an average of 49.3 yards (42.3 net) and a long of 54 in the Giants 17-16 loss to the Redskins.
Martez Wilson, LB, New Orleans Saints - Wilson saw some playing time on the field, but recorded no tackles in the 23-13 loss to the Falcons.
Michael Hoomanawanui, TE, New England Patriots - The backup tight end for the Patriots earned some playing time, but did not catch any passes in the 23-16 win over the Miami Dolphins.
AJ Jenkins, WR, San Francisco 49ers - Rookie was active for the second time this season, but did not record and stats in the 16-13 loss to the Rams in St. Louis.
Arrelious Benn, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Benn remains on the Injured Reserve list due to shoulder problems. The Buccaneers lost 31-23 to the Broncos in Denver.
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers - Mendenhall did not play in the 23-20 win over the Ravens in Baltimore due to a knee injury.
Alan Ball, CB, Houston Texans - Ball was inactive with a foot injury for the week 13 game at Tennessee.
Former Illini on NFL Practice Squads
Jerry Brown, LB, Dallas Cowboys
Jack Cornell, OL, Baltimore Ravens