Monday, January 04, 2016

Five UConn products could play in NFL playoffs

Robert McClain, seen returning an interception against Tampa Bay,
 is one of five former UConn players on active rosters of playoff teams
Five former UConn players could see playing time in the playoffs.

Leading the way is Robert McClain, who was signed late in the season by a Carolina Panthers team which finished with the best record during the regular season.

McClain was in training camp with the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and after being released before the start of the regular season, he had a couple of tryouts before the Carolina Panthers signed him.

The Kansas City/Houston wildcard game features three former Huskies as fullback Anthony Sherman and safety Tyvon Branch play for the Chiefs and tight end Ryan Griffin. Also, Jordan Todman is one of the few healthy running backs remaining for the playoff-bound Pittsburgh Steelers.

Shamar Stephen is on the roster for the Minnesota Vikings but has been on injured reserve since October while B.J. McBryde (Green Bay), Shakim Phillips (Pittsburgh) and Deshon Foxx (Seattle) are on the practice squads of playoff teams.

Here is the breakdown of how former UConn players fared on Sunday and during the regular season

Will Beatty, OT New York Giants: Spent season on either physically unable to perform or injured reserve list.
Tyvon Branch, S Kansas City: Had four tackles including sack in 23-17 win over Oakland. Finished regular season with 43 tackles (including 500th of career) and an interception.
Donald Brown, RB San Diego: Ran for 81 yards and had two catches for 10 yards in 27-20 loss to Denver. Finished season with 229 yards on 59 carries and had eight catchers for 88 yards.
Darius Butler, CB Indianapolis: Had seven tackles in 30-24 win over Tennessee. Had 50 tackles and his 12th career interception.
Geremy Davis, WR New York Giants: Was inactive for 35-30 loss to Philadelphia. Finished rookie season with two catches for 31 yards.
Marcus Easley, WR Buffalo: Season ended with serious knee injury suffered in Dec. 27 win over Dallas. Had a career high 58-yard catch in loss to Jacksonville on Oct. 25.
Dwayne Gratz, CB Jacksonville: Had two tackles in 30-6 loss to Houston. Finished with 27 tackles in 12 games.
Ryan Griffin, TE Houston: Had three catches for 27 yards in 30-6 win over Jacksonville. His 20 catches, 251 yards and two touchdown catches are all career highs. It was the fourth game of  the season with at least three receptions matching the total from his first two NFL seasons.
Byron Jones, DB Dallas: Had six tackles in 34-23 loss to Washington. Finished rookie season with five straight games with at least five tackles and 66 tackles, fourth most among rookie defensive backs.
Danny Lansanah, LB Tampa Bay: Had one tackle in 38-10 loss to Carolina. Had 55 tackles and a sack while starting 11 games.
Robert McClain, CB Carolina: Had seven tackles, an interception and added five yards on two punt returns in 38-10 win over Tampa Bay.
Sio Moore, LB Indianapolis: Was inactive in 30-24 win over Tennessee. Finished with 13 tackles in 12 games.
Dan Orlovsky, QB Detroit: Did not play in 24-20 win over Chicago. Threw for 201 yards in two games giving him 3,132 passing yards in 23 career games.
Kendall Reyes, DT San Diego: Had two tackles in 27-20 loss to Denver. Finished with 32 tackles, two sacks and first career interception.
Anthony Sherman, FB Kansas City: Had two catches for 21 yards in 23-17 win over Oakland. Had four receptions, one rushing attempt and six tackles in his third season with the Chiefs.
Shamar Stephen, DL Minnesota: Limited to five games and had three tackles and one fumble recovery in injury-shortened second NFL season.
Jordan Todman, RB Pittsburgh: Had four carries for 22 yards as he is one of 11 players to have at least one carry for the Steelers. Also had a 22-yard kickoff return.
Nick Williams, WR Atlanta: Had career highs with 17 catches and 159 receiving yards.
Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB Tennessee: Was inactive in 30-24 loss to Indianapolis. Had 20 tackles in 10 games.


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