The 2013 NFL preseason was not a kind one to many of the Michigan State alumni in the league. Six suffered injuries, ten were cut and only 12 remain on active rosters. A number of former Spartans were faced with significant setbacks over the course of the preseason. But as the season quickly approaches, there is much hope for the Spartans in the NFL ranks.
Buccaneers fourth-round pick William Gholston performed admirably during his first NFL training camp and preseason. In four games, the rookie defensive end posted 11 total tackles, including five in Tampa Bayâ€™s 30-12 loss to the Redskins in the final week of the preseason.
The Spartan-Bengal duo of Kyle Cook and Domata Peko appear poised for a great season in Cincinnati in 2013. Each started all four games of the preseason. Cook did not record any stats at center, while Peko racked up six total tackles at defensive tackle.
Judging by his leadership in the preseason, Kevin Vickerson looks to be a leader again on Denverâ€™s defense this season. The gritty defensive tackle tabbed three tackles during the preseason for the Broncos.
Brian Hoyer handled his transition to the Brownsâ€™ offense quite smoothly. The backup quarterback connected on 37 of 56 attempts for 437 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions in four games. The veteran led Cleveland to victory in the teamâ€™s final preseason game, passing for 307 yards and a touchdown in an 18-16 win over the Bears. Hoyer also rushed four times for 18 yards in the contest.
Brandon Fields had a phenomenal preseason for the Dolphins. The punter booted the ball 29 times in five games, averaging an impressive 54.6 yards per punt. After narrowly missing the Pro Bowl in 2012, Fields looks to continue the success of his stellar campaign last year.
Redskinsâ€™ backup quarterback Kirk Cousins was sidelined in the preseason by a mild right foot sprain. The second-year signal caller should practice fully this week and be ready to go for the teamâ€™s first game on September 9.
Wide receiver Keshawn Martin had a solid preseason, hauling in eight passes for 86 yards. Martin cemented himself as a reliable option for Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, while Martin also proved his worth on kickoff returns.
Leâ€™Veon Bell scared many Steelers fans early in the preseason when he went down with a sprained foot. Luckily, the injury does not seem as severe as the team first thought, as the rookie running back is already out of his walking boot. Though the team seems optimistic about his return, no timetable has been set yet.
Despite the odds, Garrett Celek has made the 49ers roster for the second season in a row. Few expected the tight end to make the squad last year, but thanks to his determination and hard work, Celek survived the cuts and has become an essential backup for San Francisco. During the preseason, Celek caught three passes for 17 yards.
Quarterback Nick Foles looked solid in the preseason for the Eagles, but he ultimately lost the starting role to Michael Vick. Foles threw 27-42 for 271 yards and an interception. The second-year signal caller will be the primary backup to Vick this season.
Rookie Dion Sims has earned a roster spot with the Dolphins at tight end. The former Spartan reeled in seven passes for 69 yards and a touchdown in five games during the preseason. Following a season-ending injury to starting tight end Dustin Keller, Sims appears poised to earn more playing time at the position.
Drew Stanton proved his dependability as a backup quarterback for the Cardinals during the preseason, connecting on 25 of his 45 attempts for 314 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. He will be Arizonaâ€™s second quarterback behind Carson Palmer.
Running back Edwin Baker had a solid preseason, rushing 11 times for 57 yards. But he did not impress the Chargers enough to earn a roster spot. But after being cut on August 25, the Broncos signed the back to their practice squad on September 1.
Packersâ€™ defensive tackle Jerel Worthy remains on Green Bayâ€™s physically unable to perform (PUP) list due to surgery on his ACL. Worthy is ineligible to play until October 20.
Spartans who were cut: CB Johnny Adams (Colts), MLB Greg Jones* (Titans), OL Chris McDonald (Patriots), DT Ogemdi Nwagbuo (Lions), S Trenton Robinson (49ers), DB Ross Weaver* (Lions), DT Anthony Rashad White* (Patriots), DB Mitchell White (Raiders), OT D.J. Young (Cardinals)
*Placed on injured reserve before cut