As the NFL nears the middle of the season with the trade deadline having passed, let’s take a look at how Illinois Fighting Illini alumni are doing on the big stage.
The biggest news for Illini fans came yesterday as the Green Bay Packers signed Geronimo Allison from their practice squad to their 53-man roster. Allison will replace former Wisconsin Badger Jarred Abbrederis, who was placed on injured reserve. After being passed over in the final cut of the preseason, Allison reportedly turned down several offers from other teams to stick with the Packers organization in practice squad capacity. This decision has paid off for the rookie receiver who provided the most iconic play of the 2015 season with his game-winning touchdown against Nebraska.
In limited snaps, another former Illini wide receiver, Arrelious Benn, made a catch for 39 yards in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 33-16 loss to Jihad Ward’s Oakland Raiders. Ward recorded no tackles but managed to land one shot on Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles.
Defensive tackle Corey Liuget recorded no tackles and 2 QB hits in the San Diego Chargers’ overtime win against the Atlanta Falcons. Cincinnati Bengals safety Clayton Fejedelem, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Akeem Spence, Indianapolis Colts halfback Josh Ferguson, Houston Texans fullback Jay Prosch and New England Patriots guard Ted Karras all saw little to no action this week, with Karras having lost the starting job weeks ago.
Tavon Wilson gathered four tackles in a rotating safety position for the Detroit Lions, who limited the Washington Redskins in a 20-17 victory.
The Fighting Illini Reunion Tour that is the Houston Texans was embarrassed by the Denver Broncos on Monday night 27-9. Guard Jeff Allen returned from a concussion, but to no avail as his team could not move the ball against a stout Bronco defense. Linebacker Whitney Mercilus made three tackles and put a huge hit on Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian, who was fortunate enough to never face Mercilus in college as a Northwestern quarterback.
Arrelious Benn will be the first in action in week 8 as the Jaguars take on the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night.