Former Illini in NFL: Week 2

Sep. 17—Devon Witherspoon is looking to make his long-awaited NFL debut. Chase McLaughlin is already making an impact with his new team. It's been a mixed bag for 19 former Illini standouts and one former area high school standout during the opening week of the 2023 season. N-G sports staffer Joe Vozzelli Jr. offers an update on each:

Nick Allegretti

Kansas City Chiefs

➜ Looking back: Allegretti played on four special teams snaps as the fifth-year offensive lineman and the Chiefs lost 21-20 in their season opener against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 7.

➜ What's next: Kansas City (0-1) will travel to Jacksonville for a Week 2 game at noon on Sunday against the Jaguars (1-0). The Chiefs knocked out Jacksonville, 27-20, in last season's divisional round of the AFC playoffs.

Tony Adams

New York Jets

➜ Looking back: Adams started at safety and participated in 77 total snaps (67 on defense, 10 on special teams) and tallied five total tackles in the Jets' 22-16 overtime home win against the Buffalo Bills on Monday night.

➜ What's next: The Jets (1-0) will face the Dallas Cowboys (1-0) in an AFC-NFC crossover game at 3:25 p.m. on Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Chase Brown

Cincinnati Bengals

➜ Looking back: The rookie running back — a fifth-round pick — was inactive for the Bengals' 24-3 loss against the rival Browns in Cleveland this past Sunday.

➜ What's next: The Bengals (0-1) will stay in the AFC North for a second straight week, with Cincinnati hosting the Baltimore Ravens (1-0) at noon on Sunday at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.

Sydney Brown

Philadelphia Eagles

➜ Looking back: The rookie safety did not record any stats in the Eagles 34-28 win against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, in Week 1, Brown had a highlight play when he ran down the field and immediately tackled Patriots returner Marcus Jones for no gain on a punt in the second quarter. Brown wound up on the field for 19 snaps on special teams in the Eagles' 25-20 road win last Sunday against New England in Foxborough, Mass.

➜ What's next: Philadelphia (2-0) has an 11-day break before the Eagles visit Tampa, Fla., to face the Buccaneers (1-0) on Sept. 25 in a Monday night game at Raymond James Stadium.

Kendrick Green

Houston Texans

➜ Looking back: The offensive lineman, now in his first season in Houston, played three snaps on special teams, as the Texans lost 25-9 last Sunday to the Ravens in Baltimore.

➜ What's next: The Texans (0-1) play their home opener at noon on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts (0-1) in a high-profile matchup of rookie quarterbacks: C.J. Stroud (Houston) vs. Anthony Richardson (Indianapolis)

Jake Hansen

Houston Texans

➜ Looking back: The second-year pro linebacker spent a total of 24 snaps on the field (two on defense, 22 on special teams) in a 25-9 loss to the host Baltimore Ravens this past Sunday.

➜ What's next: The DeMeco Ryans-led Texans are at home this weekend with Houston (0-1) hosting the Indianapolis Colts (0-1) for a noon kickoff on Sunday at NRG Stadium.

Justin Hardee

New York Jets

➜ Looking back: Hardee logged a total of 22 snaps on special teams, as the host Jets prevailed 22-16 in overtime against the Buffalo Bills on Monday night.

➜ What's next: Hardee and his teammates draw another tough assignment with the Jets set to face the Cowboys at 3:25 p.m. on Sunday in Arlington, Texas.

Nate Hobbs

Las Vegas Raiders

➜ Looking back: The former fifth-round draft pick, now in his third NFL season, started at cornerback and had the third-highest grade among the Raiders' defensive players at 81.7, according to Pro Football Focus. Hobbs did so while playing 60 defensive and six special teams snaps and producing a team-leading 12 tackles, one quarterback hit and two tackles for loss in a 17-16 comeback win for Las Vegas against the rival Broncos last Sunday in Denver.

➜ What's next: The Raiders (1-0) hit the road again to play the Bills (0-1) at noon on Sunday at Highmark Stadium in Buffalo, N.Y.

Kerby Joseph

Detroit Lions

➜ Looking back: Joseph was the starter at safety and had three total tackles, including one for loss, in a 21-20 win at the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 2. The former Illini participated in 65 defensive and eight special teams snaps in the season opener.

➜ What's next: It will be reunion of sorts on Sunday for Joseph, as former Illinois defensive back teammate Devon Witherspoon plays for the Seattle Seahawks. Detroit (1-0) will face Seattle (0-1) for a noon kick on Sunday at Ford Field.

Ted Karras

Cincinnati Bengals

➜ Looking back: Karras started at center for the Bengals in Week 1 and played 56 offensive snaps in Cincinnati's 24-3 loss to the Browns in Cleveland last Sunday.

➜ What's next: Karras and the Bengals (0-1) will look to rebound in a home matchup with the Baltimore Ravens (1-0) at noon on Sunday.

Doug Kramer

Chicago Bears

➜ Looking back: Kramer missed last Sunday's 38-20 home loss to the Green Bay Packers and remains on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury.

➜ What's next: The Bears (0-1) will face quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) at noon on Sunday.

Vederian Lowe

New England Patriots

➜ Looking back: Lowe did not play in the Patriots' 25-20 home loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday.

➜ What's next: New England (0-1) plays at Gillette Stadium for a second consecutive week, with the Patriots hosting the Miami Dolphins (1-0) in a nationally televised game at 7:20 p.m. on Sunday.

Jartavius Martin

Washington Commanders

➜ Looking back: The rookie defensive back played 18 snaps — all on special teams — in the Washington Commanders' 20-16 home win last Sunday over the Arizona Cardinals.

➜ What's next: Washington (1-0) play the Broncos (0-1) at 3:25 p.m. on Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver.

Chase McLaughlin

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

➜ Looking back: The 27-year-old made his Buccaneers' debut count as McLaughlin's 57-yard field goal secured a 20-17 victory against the Vikings in Minneapolis last Sunday. All told, McLaughlin made two field goals and two extra points for Tampa Bay in its season opener.

➜ What's next: The Buccaneers (1-0) have their home opener in Week 2 with the Chicago Bears (0-1) on tap at noon on Sunday from Raymond James Stadium.

Alex Palczewski

Denver Broncos

➜ Looking back: Palczewski started the season on IR with a hand injury, and the undrafted free-agent rookie sat out for the Broncos' 17-16 loss at home last Sunday against the Raiders.

➜ What's next: Denver (0-1) plays in front of its home fans for a second week in a row, with coach Sean Payton, a former Eastern Illinois quarterback, and the Broncos hosting the Washington Commanders (0-1) for a 3:25 p.m. game on Sunday.

Del'Shawn Phillips

Baltimore Ravens

➜ Looking back: The fifth-year linebacker notched 21 special teams snaps and wound up with two tackles, as the Ravens pulled away in the second half for a 25-9 home victory against the Houston Texans last Sunday.

➜ What's next: Baltimore (1-0) is in action at noon on Sunday in an AFC North battle with the Bengals (0-1) in Cincinnati.

Trent Sherfield

Buffalo Bills

➜ Looking back: The wide receiver from Danville, who is in his first season in Buffalo after spending last year with the Dolphins, played in 21 snaps during the Bills' 22-16 overtime loss to the Jets this past Monday night. He did not catch a pass or record a tackle and saw the field for 11 offensive snaps and 10 special teams snaps.

➜ What's next: The Bills (0-1) are set for their home opener on Sunday, hosting the Raiders in a noon kickoff.

Dawuane Smoot

Jacksonville Jaguars

➜ Looking back: The defensive end/outside linebacker missed the first of what will be four regular-season games to open up the season after the Jaguars placed him on the active/PUP list prior to Week 1. Smoot's Jaguars teammates won 31-21 last Sunday against the Colts in Indianapolis.

➜ What's next: The Jaguars (1-0) will face the Chiefs (0-1) at noon on Sunday at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.

Jihad Ward

New York Giants

➜ Looking back: Ward took part in 26 defensive and seven special teams snaps, but the host Giants endured a 40-0 loss to the Cowboys last Sunday night.

➜ What's next: The New York Giants (0-1) will be in Glendale, Ariz., for a 3:05 p.m. Week 2 game against the Arizona Cardinals (0-1) on Sunday.

Devon Witherspoon

Seattle Seahawks

➜ Looking back: The No. 5 overall pick in April's draft and former Illini All-American defensive back was inactive for the Seahawks' 30-13 home loss to the Los Angeles Rams this past Sunday.

➜ What's next: Witherspoon, who has been slowed by a hamstring injury, was listed as a full practice participant in Seattle's injury report on Thursday ahead of the Seahawks (0-1) going to Detroit to meet the Lions (1-0) in a Week 2 game, which is slated for a noon kick on Sunday at Ford Field