Spartans in the NFL

            Seventeen Spartans held spots on NFL rosters for the first week of the 2011-12 season. This weekly column will keep you updated on all your favorite Michigan State players in the NFL, including those waiting in the free agent pool.

            Plaxico Burress appeared in his first game in almost three years on Sunday. The Jets wide receiver made an immediate impression, catching four passes for 72 yards, including a 26 yard touchdown. Fellow Spartans (and current Jets teammates) Derrick Mason and Eric Smith were there to share the moment with Burress. Mason, picked up from the Ravens in the offseason, caught three passes for 19 yards. Smith starred at safety for the Jets and helped to contain the Cowboys offense. Smith racked up five tackles, two assists, one sack (for four yards), one tackle for loss, and one quarterback hit. The Jets won the game, 27-24.

            Kellen Davis caught two passes for 23 yards at tight end for the Bears in Chicago’s 30-12 drubbing of the Falcons.

            Rookie Greg Jones joined Spartan Devin Thomas on the Giants’ roster in the offseason. Jones, a fifth round draft pick, started at middle linebacker. He recorded four tackles in the game. Thomas played mostly on special teams: he returned one kick for 21 yards, and made a special teams tackle and assist. The Giants fell to the rival Redskins, 28-14.

            Titans’ running back Javon Ringer was not active for his team’s 16-14 loss to the Jaguars.

            The Bengals started two Spartans in their opening day matchup with the Cleveland Browns. Kyle Cook played at center and Domata Peko appeared at defensive tackle, picking up two tackles and an assist. The Bengals beat the Browns, 27-17.

            Ravens offensive lineman Brandon McKinney was inactive for Baltimore’s 35-7 romp of Pittsburgh.

            Blair White and Chris Rucker both appeared on the Colts’ roster for Week 1. White was not active for the game, while Rucker played but recorded no stats.

            Quarterback Drew Stanton of the Lions was not active for his team’s 27-20 victory over the Buccaneers.

            Brandon Fields, the Dolphins’ punter, got a lot of work in the Patriots’ 38-24 triumph. Fields punted six times for a 51.2 yard average. Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer did not see action in the game.

            The Broncos’ Kevin Vickerson started at defensive tackle in Denver’s 23-20 loss to the Raiders. He had one tackle in the game.