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Illini in the NFL: Week 2

Another week and we’re grateful to have football.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

We’re back for Week 2 of the NFL. Let’s keep it rolling!

Baltimore Ravens

Jihad Ward, defensive end: The Ravens went down to Texas to battle the Houston Texans. Ward recorded 2 tackles as the Ravens won. Baltimore is 2-0 to start the season.

Buffalo Bills

Del’Shawn Phillips, linebacker: Phillips injured his quad and did not return in the Bills home opener against the New York Jets last week. Fortunately, the injury is not considered serious. The Bills played and won their second straight division game, this time on the road at the Miami Dolphins. Phillips was inactive and did not suit up at Miami.

Dallas Cowboys:

Malik Turner, wide receiver/special teams: Malik Turner finds himself buried on the wide receiver depth chart behind Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Oklahoma rookie CeeDee Lamb. In Week 2 in their home opener against the Atlanta Falcons, Turner did not catch a pass in Dallas’ 40-39 win.

Houston Texans:

Whitney Mercilus, outside linebacker: The Texans played host to Jihad Ward, Lamar Jackson (in that order) and the Baltimore Ravens. Mercilus played, but did not record any stats in the game.

Indianapolis Colts

Tavon Wilson, safety: Tavon Wilson and the Colts won their home game against the NFC North’s Minnesota Vikings. Wilson did not record any stats. Colts starting safety and former Ohio State star Malik Hooker potentially suffered a severe injury against the Vikings. Wilson should be seeing a lot more of the field in the coming weeks.

Jacksonville Jaguars:

Dawuane Smoot, defensive end: Smoot and the Jaguars had a big, early season game against division rivals Tennessee Titans. The former Illini had 1 tackle in a close, 33-30 loss to the Titans.

Kansas City Chiefs:

Nick Allegretti, guard: The Super Bowl winner blocks on special teams. He had a penalty in overtime that pushed the Chiefs’ 53-yard field goal back to a 58-yarder for kicker Harrison Butker. Butker’s kick was good, and the Chiefs beat the LA Chargers in their new digs (see SoFi Stadium).

Miami Dolphins:

Ted Karras, center: Karras captained the Miami Dolphins in a home loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Clayton Fejedelem, safety/special teams: Fejedelem is currently injured and did was listed as inactive against the Bills.

New Orleans Saints:

Justin Hardee, cornerback/special teams: It’s always special when an Illinois alum plays on the brightest lights on Monday Night Football. Against the newly-dubbed Las Vegas Raiders, the former Illini had a lot to live up to after last week’s hit. He didn’t replicate it, but there’s more to come. Hardee’s Saints fell to the Raiders.

Practice Squad guys:

Clearly did not play this past weekend, but both kicker Chase McLaughlin and linebacker Hardy Nickerson are on the Minnesota Vikings.

*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.