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Irish In The Pros: NFL Week One

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DeShone Kizer totaled two touchdowns in his first start in the NFL against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
AP Photo/Ron Schwane

The NFL kicked off its regular season over the past few days and former Irish standouts returned to the field for the 2017 campaign.

Former star quarterback DeShone Kizer and linebacker Jaylon Smith notched their first career NFL starts while others such as defensive lineman Isaac Rochell and linebacker James Onwualu also recorded their first professional statistics.

Take a look below to see how each player fared in their respective games. All snap counts per pro-football-reference.com.

OFFENSE

• Tyler Eifert (2009-12), TE, Cincinnati Bengals: Caught one pass for four yards in a 20-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

• Anthony Fasano (2002-05), TE, Miami Dolphins: Week one matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma.

• Michael Floyd (2008-11), WR, Minnesota Vikings: Suspended for the first four games of 2017 by the NFL due to his DUI arrest in December and subsequent 24-day jail stint.

• Will Fuller (2013-15), WR, Houston Texans: Began the year as Houston’s No. 2 receiver … Showed improvement early in training camp, but suffered a broken collarbone Aug. 2 that is expected to sideline him until late October or early November.

• J.J. Jansen (2004-07), LS, Carolina Panthers: Will once again handle all the team’s long snapping duties in 2017.

• TJ Jones (2010-13), WR, Detroit Lions: Caught two passes for 32 yards in Detroit’s 35-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

• DeShone Kizer (2014-16), QB, Cleveland Browns: In his first professional game, Kizer went 20 of 30 for 222 yards, a touchdown and interception through the air. He added 17 yards and a touchdown on five carries as a rusher.

• Ben Koyack (2011-14), TE, Jacksonville Jaguars: Did not record a catch in Jacksonville’s 29-7 win over the Houston Texans.

• Nick Martin (2011-15), OL, Houston Texans: Played all 79 offensive snaps for the Texans at center, according to pro-football-reference.com, in their 29-7 loss to the Jaguars.

• Zack Martin (2009-13), OL, Dallas Cowboys: Played all 74 offensive snaps for the Cowboys at right guard, according to pro-football-reference.com, in their 19-3 win over the New York Giants.

• Troy Niklas (2011-13), TE, Arizona Cardinals: Played 19 snaps but did not record a catch in the Cardinals 35-23 loss to the Detroit Lions.

• C.J. Prosise (2012-15), RB, Seattle Seahawks: Rushed for 11 yards on four carries in a 17-9 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

• Theo Riddick (2009-12), RB, Detroit Lions: Caught six passes for 27 yards and a touchdown in Detroit’s 35-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

• Kyle Rudolph (2008-10), TE, Minnesota Vikings: Brought down three passes for 26 yards and a touchdown in the 29-19 win over the New Orleans Saints.

• Ronnie Stanley (2012-15), OT, Baltimore Ravens: Played all 66 offensive snaps for the Ravens at left tackle in their 20-0 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

• John Sullivan (2003-07), C, Los Angeles Rams: Started at center and played 60 of 65 possible snaps for the Rams in their 46-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

• Golden Tate (2007-09), WR, Detroit Lions: Led the Lions with 10 receptions and 107 yards in the 35-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

• Sam Young (2006-09), OT, Miami Dolphins: Week one matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma.

DEFENSE

• Sheldon Day (2012-15), DL, Jacksonville Jaguars: Recorded one tackle in 23 total snaps (21 on defense, two on special teams) in Jacksonville’s 29-7 win over the Houston Texans.

• Matthias Farley (2011-15), DB, Indianapolis Colts: Started at safety and recorded a team-high 10 total tackles and eight solo in the 46-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

• Cole Luke (2013-16), CB, Carolina Panthers: Did not record a snap in the Panthers’ 23-3 win over the San Francisco 49ers.

• Romeo Okwara (2012-15), DE, New York Giants: Registered a tackle in 18 total snaps in a 19-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

• James Onwualu (2013-16), LB, Los Angeles Chargers: Recorded his first career tackle in a 24-21 loss to the Denver Broncos.

• Isaac Rochell (2013-16), DT, Los Angeles Chargers: Recorded his first career tackle in a 24-21 loss to the Denver Broncos.

• KeiVarae Russell (2012-15), CB, Cincinnati Bengals: Did not record any statistics in 12 total snaps (two defense, 10 special teams) in a 20-0 loss to the Baltimore Raves.

• Harrison Smith (2007-11), S, Minnesota Vikings: Notched six tackles in a 29-19 win over the New Orleans Saints.

• Jaylon Smith (2013-15), LB, Dallas Cowboys: Started at linebacker and registered seven total tackles and forced a fumble in a 19-3 win over the New York Giants.

• Manti Te’o (2009-12), LB, New Orleans Saints: In his first start with the Saints, Te’o racked up six tackles in a 29-19 loss to the Minnesota Viking.

• Stephon Tuitt (2011-13), DE, Pittsburgh Steelers: Suffered a biceps injury in a 21-18 win over the Cleveland Browns. Considered “week-to-week” per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

• Ishaq Williams (2011-14), DE, New York Giants: Remains on injured reserve.

MLB UPDATES

• John Axford (Played at Notre Dame from 2002-05), RHP, Free Agent: Was released by the Oakland A’s Aug. 1, and had yet to hook on with another team … Struggled in 22 relief appearances, notching a 0-1 record and 6.43 ERA … Recorded 21 strikeouts in 21 innings, but also allowed 44 base runners (27 hits and 17 walks).

• Trey Mancini (2011-13), 1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles: Seen action in 129 of the Orioles’ contests … Hitting .289 with 58 runs scored, 23 home runs and 74 RBIs.

• David Phelps (2006-08), RHP, Seattle Mariners: Was traded to the Mariners July 20, with three prospects going to the Miami Marlins … For the season, had made 54 relief appearances while registering a 4-5 record with 21 holds, 62 strikeouts and a 3.40 ERA in 55.2 innings.

• A.J. Pollock (2007-10), OF, Arizona Diamondbacks: Has played in 96 games… Hitting .255 with 62 runs scored, nine homers, 32 RBI and 19 stolen bases.

• Jeff Samardzija (2003-06), RHP, San Francisco Giants: Currently holds an 9-12 record with a 4.47 ERA in his first 29 starts of the season … Whiffed 190 batters in 189.1 innings of work. Has made 18 quality starts.

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