Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weeks. Week three was a week of firsts as Akeem Spence and Glenn Foster both recorded their first career sacks and A.J. Jenkins tallied his first career reception.
Whitney Mercilus, DE, Houston Texans - Mercilus tied his season and
career high of five tackles, but the Texans dropped their first game of the
season, losing to the Ravens 30-9.
Jeff Allen, OT, Jon Asamoah, OG, Kansas City Chiefs - Both Allen and Asamoah started and guided the Chiefs to accumulate 394 total net yards, including 146 on the ground. The Chiefs are now the fifth team to go 3-0 after losing 14 games or more the previous season. However, on a negative note, Allen injured his groin during the game and has yet to practice this week.
AJ Jenkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs - A memorable day for Jenkins as he recorded his first career NFL reception in the Chiefs 26-16 win over the Eagles. Jenkins one catch was good for six yards.
Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints - Thomas gained 28 yards on 11 carries and another 39 yards on six receptions in Sunday's win over the Cardinals. Thus, Thomas led the team in rushing attempts and came in second in total number of receptions.
Michael Buchanan, DE, New England Patriots - Buchanan once again factored into a productive day for the defensive line unit, this time against the Buccaneers. The D-line tallied three sacks and eight quarterback hits. Buchanan also filled in for Matthew Slater on kickoff coverage. Patriots won 23-3. Watch Buchanan put pressure on Josh Freeman.
Hugh Thornton, OL, Indianapolis Colts - Thornton received his first career NFL start on Sunday as the Colts delivered a big win against the 49ers, 27-7. The highly touted San Francisco defense could only tally one sack as the Colts O-line helped produce 179 rushing yards.
Michael Hoomanawanui, TE, New England Patriots - Hoomanawanui had his best game of the young season so far, reeling in two receptions for 31 yards.
Vontae Davis, CB, Indianapolis Colts - Davis didn't allow a single completion all game and generally blanketed the entire left side of the field. Though he did not register a tackle, Davis locked down both Kyle Williams and Anquan Boldin on the outside.
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Arizona Cardinals - Mendenhall once again received the start and was in the backfield for 23 snaps in a 31-7 losing effort to New Orleans. Mendenhall took a team high nine carries for 29 yards and recorded one catch for 12 yards
Corey Liuget, DE, San Diego Chargers - Liuget started in his third straight game and matched his season high of two tackles. Chargers lost to the Titans, 20-17.
Steve Weatherford, P, New York Giants - Weatherford punted a season high six times for an average of 40.8 yards with a long of 56. He also pinned the Panthers inside their own 20 twice.
Jeff Cumberland, TE, New York Jets - Cumberland benefited from the emergence of the Jets passing game this week. Cumberland recorded three receptions for 26 yards, his first receiving stats of the season.
Tony Pashos, OL, Oakland Raiders - Pashos started in his third straight game for the Raiders, but Oakland came up short on Monday Night Football to the Broncos, 37-21. The Raiders offensive line allowed three sacks in the game.
Martez Wilson, LB, New Orleans Saints - Wilson once again saw action in the Saints dominating 31-7 performance over the Cardinals. Wilson may not have recorded a tackle but had a nice pass rush where he recovered from a play action fake to get in Carson Palmer's face to force an incompletion.
Tavon Wilson, FS, New England Patriots - Tavon Wilson once again saw some playing time on the field with the Patriots but did not register a stat as he still serves as the primary backup. Wilson also saw some action with the special teams unit.
Mikel Leshoure, RB, Detroit Lions - Leshoure was active for the first time this season Sunday against the Redskins but did not see the field.
Alan Ball, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars - Due to a persistent groin injury, Ball was inactive for Sunday's loss against the Seahawks.
David Diehl, OT, New York Giants - Diehl was ruled out of Sunday's game as he continues to recover from surgery on his right thumb. He is expected to return soon but the exact date remains unclear.
Former Illini on Injured Reserve
Arrelious Benn, WR, Philadelphia Eagles - Out for season with torn left ACL suffered during training camp.
Kelvin Hayden, CB, Chicago Bears - Out for season with a torn left hamstring suffered in early August.
Graham Pocic, OL, St. Louis Rams - Out for season is injury suffered during training camp.
Former Illini on NFL Practice Squads
Jack Cornell, OL, Oakland Raiders
Justin Green, DB, New England Patriots