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Illini in the NFL: Week 7 Update

Most of the Illini alums in the NFL were on bye this week. How’d the rest of them do?

Jacksonville Jaguars v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Not much action, but action nonetheless. Happy football, everyone!

Baltimore Ravens

Jihad Ward, defensive end: Ward and the Ravens were on bye this week. Next up: A monster, AFC North clash against rivals Pittsburgh Steelers on November 1. Baltimore recently traded for D-lineman Yannick Ngakoue from the Minnesota Vikings. It will be interesting to see if that move cuts into Ward’s playtime.

Buffalo Bills

Del’Shawn Phillips, linebacker: The Bills scraped out a win, beating their division foes New York Jets 18-10. Unfortunately, Phillips was placed on IR a couple of weeks ago.

Dallas Cowboys:

Malik Turner, wide receiver/special teams: Malik Turner and the Cowboys thought they had a winnable game Sunday at the Washington Football Team. Turner was once again on Dallas’ inactive list.

Houston Texans:

Whitney Mercilus, outside linebacker: Unfortunately for the Texans, an angry Aaron Rodgers came to town. Mercilus started the game and recorded 1 tackle in 40 snaps. This is something to keep an eye on, as the Illini alum is playing less and less with each passing week.

Indianapolis Colts:

Tavon Wilson, safety: Wilson and the Colts had the week off this week. Next they’ll play the Detroit Lions on the road on Nov. 1.

Jacksonville Jaguars:

Dawuane Smoot, defensive end: Smoot and the Jags had a not-so-easy late afternoon kickoff across the country versus the LA Chargers and their sneaky good rookie quarterback Justin Herbert. The Illini alum was good for 2 tackles including 0.5 sacks in a loss to the ‘Bolts.

Kansas City Chiefs:

Nick Allegretti, guard: Allegretti and the Chiefs played their second road game in less than a week when they went to Mile High to play in the snow against the Denver Broncos. Allegretti had a well-earned first career professional start at left guard, filling in for injured vet Mitchell Schwartz.

Miami Dolphins:

Miami was on bye this week. Next they’ll face the LA Rams at home on November 1.

Ted Karras, center:

Clayton Fejedelem, safety/special teams:

Minnesota Vikings:

Hardy Nickerson, linebacker/special teams: At 1-5, Minnesota’s season has unraveled. Fortunately for Nickerson and his teammates, the Vikings had a bye before heading to Green Bay on November 1 to take on the Packers in an NFC North divisional matchup.

New Orleans Saints:

Justin Hardee, cornerback/special teams: Hardee and the Saints were back at it, this time against the Carolina Panthers. Hardee was dealing with a hamstring injury and was limited in practice all week leading up to the game. The Saints are being careful not rushing him back into action, however he was in the game for 17 special teams snaps.

Practice Squad guys:

Chase McLaughlin is a practice squad member on the Minnesota Vikings. Veteran defensive lineman and former first-rounder Corey Liuget is on the Houston Texans’ practice squad as of a few weeks ago.

*Just a reminder, Detroit Lions wide receiver Geronimo Allison and New England Patriots tight end Matt LaCosse opted out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19.