Ex-Huskies Williams and Smith relegated to Seahawks practice squad
The deadline for NFL teams to get their rosters down to the mandatory 53 players in preparation for the beginning of the season passed this weekend, and two former Washington Husky receivers saw their hopes dashed, at least temporarily. Kasen Williams and Kevin Smith both failed to make the Seahawks 53-man roster, instead settling for spots on the practice squad to begin the season. For Smith, it marks the second consecutive preseason he has failed to make the Seahawks roster, but thanks to a solid showing this summer he was signed to the practice squad instead of being given an outright release. Another ex-Husky and Seahawk receiver, Jermaine Kearse, will begin the season as a starting receivers for Seattle, lining up across Doug Baldwin.
At [link removed] -- Day after they have been waived by the Seattle Seahawks, the WR Kevin Smith and Kase… pic.twitter.com/zzGqwWi0ht— Hawks Nation, Yes (@HawksNationYes) September 6, 2015
On The Bubble
Several ex-Husky players were on the bubble of the 53-man roster, and all had their fates determined Saturday as final cuts were made. A handful of players joined Andrew Hudson and Caesar Rayford (cut last week by the Bills and Vikings respectively) in failing to make a 53-man roster before the start of the NFL season. Receiver DiAndre Campbell (49ers) and cornerback Greg Ducre (Chargers) were both retained to the practice squad, while linebacker Mason Foster (Bears), and defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu (Cardinals) were cut outright. The aforementioned Hudson received a workout from the Tampa Bay Bucs this week with no further development as of this writing.
Not every ex-Husky had their bubble burst this Saturday, however, as several found a spot on their respective team's roster. Kicker Travis Coons beat out Casey Spear for the Cleveland Browns starting job. Linebacker John Timu (Bears) and guard Senio Kelemete (Saints) also survived Saturday's final cuts and made NFL rosters.
Despite frustration from a large segment of "Raider Nation" on social media, Khalif Barnes earned a spot as reserve right tackle, largely due to injuries on the Raiders offensive line.
Thanks in part to the injury to Arian Foster the Houston Texans retained Chris Polk as their third option at running back. Polk and his mission to make the Texans roster was featured on this years season of HBO Hard Knocks.
Husky Rookie Report
Four defensive rookies and ex-Huskies made their 53-man NFL rosters this weekend, and figure to play a key role of their teams in 2015.
The release of Phil Taylor this week assured Danny Shelton, the first Husky selected in the draft at 12th overall, would start for the Cleveland Browns at nose tackle this season. Shelton impressed coaches and fans alike this summer with his size, tackling ability and limitless motor, and earned his spot on the Browns defensive line.
Danny Shelton's quick emergence makes Phil Taylor expendable, $5.477 million guaranteed contract notwithstanding http://t.co/3FV6cXV0gV— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 1, 2015
New Orleans Saints Hau'oli Kikaha, who set a Washington school record with 19 sacks last season, also parlayed a solid preseason into a projected starting role in the NFL. He currently sits atop the Saints depth chart at linebackers as of this writing.
Also impressive this season was Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters who showed a nose for the ball and ability to blanket a receiver well beyond his experience. Peters will find himself second on the depth chart behind Phillip Gaines, but should see plenty of action for Andy Reid's Chiefs this season.
Also projecting second on his team's depth chart is the Carolina Panthers Shaq Thompson, selected from Washington at 25th overall in the NFL draft. Thompson played well this preseason, but finds himself shuffled to a reserve role on a solid Carolina linebacking group.
Around the NFL
- Despite a mundane preseason Bishop Sankey will still begin the season as the Tennessee Titans top option at running back.
- Desmond Trufant is recovered from a shoulder injury he suffered three weeks ago and will be ready for the start of the Atlanta Falcons season.
- Donald Butler (Chargers - LB), Dashon Goldson (Redskins - FS) and Marcel Reece (Raiders - FB) will all start for their respective teams in week one this season
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