It was in a losing effort, but nonetheless, Jordy Nelson opened his sixth season with the Green Bay Packers with a bang. The former Kansas State All-American receiver hauled in seven passes for 130 yards and a touchdown, as the 49ers defeated the Packers 34-28 in San Francisco on Sunday.
The former Riley County star, who caught an 8-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, now has 23 TDs since 2011 — giving Nelson the most by any receiver during that span. 49ers’ rookie receiver Chris Harper didn’t record any statistics on Sunday. The 49ers signed Harper off the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad last week.
It wasn’t a very good day for Nelson’s former college quarterback, as Josh Freeman struggled in an 18-17 loss at the New York Jets. Freeman turned the ball over twice, a fumble out of the back of the end zone in the first quarter for a Jets safety and an interception. He completed 15-of-31 passes for 210 yards and one touchdown, a 17-yard pass to Mike Williams in the first quarter.
Running back Darren Sproles rushed eight times for 22 yards and caught six passes for another 88 yards Sunday in the New Orleans Saints’ 23-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons. He also returned one kickoff 23 yards and fielded four punts for 7 yards.
Daniel Thomas also carried the ball eight times Sunday, finishing with just 14 yards for Miami in the Dolphins’ 23-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns. He did score his first touchdown of the season on a 1-yard rush in the fourth quarter and managed to catch one pass for 5 yards.
It had been a long time coming, but former K-State tight end Jeron Mastrud came through for his new team, the Oakland Raiders, as he caught one pass for 41 yards, losing 21-17 to the Colts in Indianapolis. It was Mastrud’s first reception since an 8-yard catch during the 2011 season with the Dolphins.
Bengals cornerback Terence Newman recorded five tackles — one for a loss — in Cincinnati’s 24-21 loss to the Bears in Chicago. Former Wildcat safety and now linebacker for the Bengals, Emmanuel Lamur, will miss the entire season with a shoulder injury after being placed on injured reserve last week.
Rookie Arthur Brown didn’t have any tackles for Baltimore in the Raven’s 49-27 loss at the Denver Broncos on Thursday night. The former All-American linebacker got in the game for six plays as a backup to Josh Byrnes. Brown is expected to play a more significant role in the Ravens’ nickel defense going forward.
Arthur’s brother, Bryce, will be in action tonight, as the Philadelphia Eagles visit the Washington Redskins. Brown rushed for 564 yards and four touchdowns — and four fumbles — as a rookie with the Eagles last season. He also caught 13 passes for 56 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards per carry on the ground.
Lining up across from Brown will be former K-State defensive end Rob Jackson, who now plays linebacker for the Redskins.
The other game tonight is the Houston Texans at the San Diego Chargers. It could be the professional debut for former K-State quarterback and linebacker Justin Tuggle, who made the Texans as an undrafted free agent in the offseason. The Chargers feature a pair of former Wildcats in veteran offensive lineman Jeromey Clary and linebacker Reggie Walker, who joined the team in the offseason.