The long-awaited 2012 NFL season kicked off this week with twelve Spartans on active rosters. Seven of the twelve saw action on opening day, and a few even made large impacts. There is much reason to be hopeful: the season is still young for these twelve men.
Peyton Manning made his highly anticipated debut for the Broncos, as Denver triumphed over the Steelers, 31-19. Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson was part of the Denver defensive effort that held Pittsburghâ€™s offense to 284 net yards. Vickerson had a tackle and a tackle for loss in the win.
Tight end Kellen Davis started for the Bears in a 41-21 trouncing of the Colts. Davis was targeted once by quarterback Jay Cutler, but did not record any catches. QB Drew Stanton was not active for the Colts.
Brandon Fields was excellent for the Dolphins in a losing effort, as the Texans smashed Miami 30-10. Fields punted the ball three times for an average of 44 yards, with a long of 56 yards, and pinned Houston inside its own 20 yard line twice. Wideout Keshawn Martin of the Texans was targeted once by quarterback Matt Schuab but did not make any catches.
Backup quarterback Kirk Cousins watched from the bench as Robert Griffin III tore up the Saintsâ€™ defense in Washingtonâ€™s 40-32 triumph over New Orleans.
Trenton Robinson, Garrett Celek and the 49ers emerged victorious over Jerel Worthy and the Packers, 30-22. Robinson saw time at safety, assisting in the San Francisco secondaryâ€™s effort to control reigning NFL MVP QB Aaron Rodgers. Celek was not active in the game. Worthy saw time at defensive tackle, but did not record any stats for Green Bay.
Ross Weaver was let go from the Lionsâ€™ practice squad last Wednesday.
Starting defensive tackle Domata Peko did his part on the Bengals defensive line in attempting to slow down a stellar Ravens offense. But despite Pekoâ€™s two tackles and two assists, the Ravens overwhelmed the Bengals on Monday night, 44-13.
Kyle Cook, who suffered an ankle injury in the preseason, was placed on the injured reserve list by the Bengals on Tuesday. Per a new NFL rule, each team can designate one player on the IR who is eligible to return mid-season. The Bengals took advantage of this rule by putting Cook on that special list, allowing the center to practice as early as Week 7 and play in Week 9. Mondayâ€™s showdown with the Ravens was the first time in 50 games that Cook has not started at center for the Bengals.
Eric Smith was not active for the Jets, as New York overran the Bills, 48-28. Smith has not played since the first preseason game due to a hip injury, as well as an MCL injury in his knee. The safety has since recovered from the knee injury, but is still affected by his ailing hip.