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Jayhawks In The NFL

RockChalk makes his triumphant return this morning.  Stay tuned for the first look at North Dakota State

Three weeks into the preseason and the Jayhawks still have 12 players on the active preseason rosters of several different NFL teams.  Over the course of the season either every Tuesday or potentially every other Tuesday here at RCT we'll update you on those players, whether they are playing and how they are contributing to their respective teams.

In this time slot we're also working on a few potential interviews when possible with former players both NFL and otherwise.  Today with just one game left in the preseason, a recap of the players performances to date.

San Diego Chargers

The Jayhawks have two players listed on the Chargers roster and despite showing up as the starter on the two deep, Darrell Stuckey has yet to start a game after a minor injury that kept him out of the preseason opener.  Stuckey has seen time in the last two weeks however, recording four tackles in his two games.  Last week against New Orleans Stuckey recorded three of those, two on defense and one on special teams.

The other Jayhawk playing with the Chargers is linebacker James Holt.  After catching on with the Chargers a season ago as an undrafted free agent, Holt now sits second on the depth chart at one of the inside linebacker spots behind veteran Stephan Cooper.  So far this preseason Holt has recorded four tackles and one fumble recovery. 

Cincinnati Bengals

Another team with multiple Jayhawks is the Cincinnati Bengals. Anthony Collins enters his third year with the team and to date has appeared in 23 games with 13 starts.  At the start of preseason Collins was listed second on the depth chart at left tackle seeing extensive time in the preseason opener.  Since then a foot injury has kept Collins off the field but he should once again make the Bengals gameday roster and be in a position to play.

Dezmon Briscoe is a rookie wide receiver for the Bengals and finds himself competing against one of the deepest wideout groups in the league.  The release of Antonio Bryant does free up a little room and it does appear that the Bengals will do their best to keep Briscoe around the organization.  Playing on gameday might prove slightly more difficult.  In the preseason to date, Briscoe has recorded three catches for 39 yards while playing sparingly. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Aqib Talib represents the Jayhawk that has seen the most playing time in recent years for Kansas, or at least the most noticeable time.  Talib is slated as the starter for the Bucs and through three preseason games he has started all three and over the past weekend against Jacksonville he recorded three tackles.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers are the third team on the list with multiple Jayhawks in camp.  The first, Justin Hartwig is entering his 9th NFL season and his third with the Steelers.  Hartwig started on the Steelers most recent Super Bowl team, but in the most recent preseason game he dropped out of the starting role in favor of Maurkice Pouncey a rookie out of Florida.

The other Jayhawk playing with the Steelers has had to do things the hard way.  Justin Thornton was signed as an undrafted free agent and continues to beat the odds making it closer and closer to a roster spot.  Sunday night against the Denver Broncos, Thornton recorded four tackles while playing the majority of the second half.  Over the course of the entire preseason Thornton has recorded seven tackles and is currently listed third on the Steeler depth chart at strong safety.

San Francisco 49ers

Moran Norris continues to plug along on a very successful yet under the radar career at fullback.  He' rarely used for more than a blocking role, but Norris has started all three preseason games and played in 16 games for the Niners a year ago.  Last season he carried the ball 14 times for 41 yards and a touchdown and caught 7 passes for a total of 31 yards.  

Tennessee Titans

Mike Rivera continues to gain momentum with the Titans organization after signing on as a free agent a year ago.  After starting out with the Bears organization, Rivera ended up released and looking for work but might have found the right fit with Tennessee.  In three preseason games Rivera has recorded seven tackles including three for a loss.  Rivera is currently listed 3rd on the depth chart behind Collin Allred a 3rd year player out of Baylor and Stephen Tulloch a fifth year player from North Carolina State. 

Houston Texans

The last player still on a current preseason roster is Derek Fine.  Fine has yet to record a catch during the preseason and hasn't broken into the top portion of the Texans depth chart.  Listed fourth, Fine has been used primarily as a blocker and will likely be aiming for a spot as a special teams player at best.

New York Jets

Marcus Henry unfortunately was released from the Jets after spending the last three fall camps with the team.  He has yet to see the field with the Jets and has been a perennial practice squad player. Hopefully he gets another shot somewhere soon.

Atlanta Falcons

Kerry Meier - we all know the story.  Meier was performing very well and things were looking extremely positive for the 5th rounder, but an injury has ended his season.