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WILDCATS IN THE NFL: Week 17

BracketCat takes a look at how former Kansas State Wildcats performed in Week 17 of the 2014 NFL season.

Five Wildcats helped to lead their teams to playoff berths, but none have exceled more than Jordy Nelson, with his record-setting season for the NFC North Division champs. He'll either go to a Pro Bowl or a Super Bowl, and that's a damn fine season.
Five Wildcats helped to lead their teams to playoff berths, but none have exceled more than Jordy Nelson, with his record-setting season for the NFC North Division champs. He'll either go to a Pro Bowl or a Super Bowl, and that's a damn fine season.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This is a feature in which I track the progress of former Wildcats greats such as Darren Sproles and Jordy Nelson in the ranks of professional football.

For now, I shall restrict it to National Football League performances until I get the hang of it, but expanding it to other professional leagues such as the Canadian Football League and Arena Football is a future possibility.

Per a reader's suggestion, I have re-ordered these players by position and listed the inactive players at the bottom. I hope that helps people to find the performances they're seeking more easily.

Offense

Cornelius Lucas

OL — Detroit Lions
K-Stater from 2009 to 2013
Signed by the Lions in 2014

Lucas, an undrafted rookie free-agent offensive lineman, made his third start of the season — and his second straight at right tackle — in Detroit's 30-20 loss Sunday at Green Bay.

Lucas has played in 14 games this year for the Lions, who finished the season with an 11-5 record. The No. 6 seed in the NFC Wild Card Round, Detroit will play at third-seeded Dallas at 3:40 p.m. Sunday.

Jordy Nelson

WR — Green Bay Packers
K-Stater from 2003 to 2007
Drafted by the Packers in 2008

A seventh-year veteran, Nelson carded six receptions for 86 yards Sunday in Green Bay's NFC North Division-clinching 30-20 victory over Detroit.

A career 57-game starter, Nelson finished the season with 98 receptions for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns.

He became the first receiver in Packers history to eclipse the 1,500-yard mark in a season, breaking the 19-year-old single-season record of 1,497 yards set by Robert Brooks in 1995.

Selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time this season, Nelson finished tied for second in the NFL in touchdowns, fourth in yards and seventh in receptions.

In his seven-year career, Nelson has 400 receptions for 6,109 yards and 49 touchdowns. Green Bay earned a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed and will play a home playoff game at 12:05 p.m. Jan. 11, 2015.

Darren Sproles

RB — Philadelphia Eagles
K-Stater from 2001 to 2004
Drafted by the Chargers in 2005

A 10th-year pro and first-time Pro Bowler in 2014, Sproles tallied 43 all-purpose yards Sunday in Philadelphia's 34-26 win at the New York Giants. The Eagles finished the season with a 10-6 record.

The running back carded 5 rushing yards on one carry, 23 yards on three receptions and 15 yards on punt returns.

Traded to the Eagles from the Saints in the offseason, Sproles finished the year with 329 rushing yards and six touchdowns, 387 receiving yards, and a 13.0-yard average on punt returns.

He also has racked up 16,741 career all-purpose yards to rank 16th in NFL history.

Daniel Thomas

RB — Miami Dolphins
K-Stater from 2009 to 2010
Drafted by the Dolphins in 2011

A 2011 draft pick by Miami who was cut and then re-signed by the Dolphins this year, Thomas had a 1-yard rushing touchdown and caught one pass for a yard in Miami's 37-24 loss Sunday to the New York Jets.

In 12 games this year, the fourth-year back carded 168 rushing yards on 44 carries and two touchdowns to go along with 121 receiving yards on 13 catches for the 8-8 Dolphins.

Defense

Arthur Brown

LB — Baltimore Ravens
K-Stater from 2010 to 2012
Drafted by the Ravens in 2013

A second-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, Brown played Sunday in Baltimore's 20-10 victory over Cleveland, a win that put the Ravens into the playoffs with a 10-6 record.

Sixth-seeded Baltimore travels to No. 3 seed Pittsburgh at 7:15 p.m. Saturday in the Wild Card Round.

Emmanuel Lamur

LB — Cincinnati Bengals
K-Stater from 2009 to 2011
Signed by the Bengals in 2012

Lamur, an undrafted rookie free-agent signee in 2012, made two tackles Sunday night in Cincinnati's 27-17 loss at Pittsburgh.

A 13-game starter in 2014, the linebacker has 91 tackles this season to go along with seven passes defended and two interceptions.

Despite the loss, the Bengals still are in the playoffs as the No. 5 seed with a 10-5-1 record and will take on fourth-seeded Indianapolis at 12:05 p.m. Sunday in the Wild Card Round.

Justin Tuggle

LB — Houston Texans
K-Stater from 2011 to 2012
Signed by the Texans in 2013

A second-year linebacker, Tuggle made one special teams tackle Sunday in Houston's 23-17 season-ending victory over Jacksonville. The Texans finished the year with a 9-7 record.

In 16 games this season — including eight starts — the former undrafted rookie free agent carded 39 tackles to improve his two-year career total to 53.

Reggie Walker

LB — San Diego Chargers
K-Stater from 2005 to 2008
Drafted by the Cardinals in 2009

A sixth-year pro, Walker played Sunday in San Diego's 19-7 loss at Kansas City, but did not record any statistics. In his second season in San Diego, Walker finished with 12 tackles for the 9-7 Chargers.

Inactive

Bryce Brown

RB — Buffalo Bills
K-Stater from 2010 to 2011
Drafted by the Eagles in 2012

Brown, a seventh-round pick in 2012 by Philadelphia who was traded to Buffalo in the offseason, was inactive Sunday for the Bills' 17-9 win at New England. Buffalo finished the season with a 9-7 record.

In seven games this year, Brown totaled 126 rushing yards on 36 attempts and hauled in 16 catches for 176 yards.

Jeromey Clary

OL — San Diego Chargers
K-Stater from 2002 to 2005
Drafted by the Chargers in 2006

An eighth-year offensive lineman for San Diego, Clary was out the entire 2014 season due to injury. San Diego lost Sunday at Kansas City, 19-7, to see its season end with a 9-7 record.

Chris Harper

WR — New York Giants
K-Stater from 2010 to 2012
Drafted by the Seahawks in 2013

A 2013 draft pick by the Seattle Seahawks, Harper has been on the practice squad for the New York Giants late this season. The Giants lost their season finale to Philadelphia, 34-26, to finish the season at 6-10.

Terence Newman

CB — Cincinnati Bengals
K-Stater from 1998 to 2002
Drafted by the Cowboys in 2003

A 12-year NFL veteran, Newman was inactive Sunday night for Cincinnati's 27-17 loss at Pittsburgh.

A career 172-game starter, the cornerback has 743 career tackles and 148 career passes defended, including season totals of 74 and 15, respectively.

The Bengals finished with a 10-5-1 record and, despite the loss, still are in the playoffs as the No. 5 seed. Cincinnati plays at No. 4 seed Indianapolis at 12:05 p.m. Sunday in the Wild Card Round.

Tavon Rooks

OL — New Orleans Saints
K-Stater from 2012 to 2013
Drafted by the Saints in 2014

Rooks, a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, was on the New Orleans Saints' practice squad during the 2014 season. The Saints finished their season with a win at Tampa Bay, 23-20, to conclude the year with a 7-9 record.

Ty Zimmerman

S — New Orleans Saints
K-Stater from 2010 to 2013
Signed by the Saints in 2014

An undrafted rookie free-agent signee by the New Orleans Saints, Zimmerman spent the 2014 season on injured reserve. New Orleans concluded its season Sunday with a 23-20 win at Tampa Bay to finish with a 7-9 record.