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Former Illini James Crawford serves as Packers’ captain Sunday

From undrafted to special teams captain.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

In a fairly tumultuous weekend for Illinois Football — a concussed QB, an annoyed former LB, a 30-point loss — James Crawford made it all better in one fell swoop.

The Packers’ rookie linebacker served as the team’s special teams captain Sunday in Green Bay’s tight loss to the undefeated Los Angeles Rams at the Coliseum.

Crawford had one tackle in the loss, but the story is more amazing. As a senior in 2017, he led the Illini in tackles for loss with 5.5, and he tied for the team lead in sacks (4.0), forced fumbles (3) and fumble recoveries (2). Crawford also led the Big Ten with 0.33 forced fumbles per game, which was good for seventh in the nation.

But he still went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Now with a chance for the Packers, under special teams coach Ron Zook, Crawford is making his name known.

Congratulations, James!

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