Week 1: 48 former Utah college, high school football players open 2022 season on NFL rosters

Former BYU running back Jamaal Williams scores a touchdown in the Detroit Lions' 38-35 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. Photo: Jeff Nguyen/Detroit Lions

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sept. 13, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Former BYU stars Jamaal Williams and Taysom Hill both got into the end zone, and ex-Utes Marcus Williams, Devin Lloyd and Cody Barton all had double-digit tackles in the opening week of the 2022 NFL season.

In all, 48 former college and high school football players in Utah entered Week 1 on an active NFL roster. Another 17 players with Utah ties were signed to teams’ practice squads.

Jamaal Williams, now in this sixth pro season, scored two touchdowns in the Detroit Lions’ 38-35 home loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Meanwhile in Atlanta, Hill rushed for 81 yards on just four carries, including a 57-yard touchdown run, in the New Orleans Saints’ 27-26 come-from-behind road win over the Falcons.

Defensively, Marcus Williams had 12 tackles in the Baltimore Ravens’ 24-9 road rout of the New York Jets, while Lloyd notched 11 tackles for the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 28-22 loss to the Washington Commanders.

On Monday night, Barton had 10 tackles — including eight solo stops, two tackles for a loss and a sack — in the Seahawks’ 17-16 victory over the Broncos.

Weber State also was well-represented in Week 1, with former Wildcat Taron Johnson repeatedly making his presence felt in the Buffalo Bills’ 31-10 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. Johnson had nine tackles and a pass deflection in the Thursday night victory.

Former Utah State star Bobby Wagner had a big game in his Rams debut following 10 seasons with the Seahawks. Wagner, who played at USU from 2008 to 2011, had seven tackles, including a sack and a tackle for a loss, in the Rams’ season-opening loss.

In injury news involving local players, former Herriman High School star Andre James suffered a head injury in the Las Vegas Raiders’ 24-19 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. James was taken to a hospital to be evaluated for a concussion as a precaution, according to the team.

The University of Utah has the most players in the pros among in-state universities with 15 former Utes on active rosters and another six signed to teams’ practice squads.

BYU is next with 12 former players on active rosters and four signed to practice squads, followed by Utah State with eight on active rosters and four on practice squads.

Four former Wildcats represent Weber State in the NFL (three active, one practice squad), and Southern Utah has two active alumni playing in the pros.

New Orleans employs the most players with Utah ties, with four on the Saints’ active roster and two on the team’s practice squad.

Four teams — the Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants and Tennessee Titans — have no former Utah college or high school athletes on their active rosters or practice squads.

All former Utah college or high school football players listed below are on active NFL rosters unless otherwise noted. Players are listed by name, position and former college and/or high school, along with a recap of their performance in Week 1.

Arizona Cardinals

  • Leki Fotu, DT, Utah/Herriman: Had two solo tackles in the Cardinals’ 44-21 loss to the Chiefs.
  • Nick Vigil, LB, Utah State/Fremont: Had three tackles (two solo) in Arizona’s Week 1 loss to Kansas City.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Tyler Allgeier, RB, BYU: Inactive in the Falcons’ 27-26 loss to the Saints.
  • Khyiris Tonga, DT, BYU/Granger: Signed to the Falcons’ practice squad Sept. 5.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Tyler Huntley, QB, Utah: Active but did not play in the Ravens’ 24-9 win over the Jets.
  • Marcus Williams, S, Utah: Had a game-high 12 tackles, including 10 solo stops, and one pass deflection in the Ravens’ road rout of the Jets.
  • Kyler Fackrell, LB, Utah State: Signed to the Ravens’ practice squad Sept. 7.
Former University of Utah safety Marcus Williams had a game-high 12 tackles in the Baltimore Ravens’ 24-9 win over the New York Jets, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. Photo: Joey Pulone/Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

  • Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State: Had nine tackles, including five solo stops and one tackle for a loss, and one pass deflection in the Bills’ 31-10 victory over the Rams.
  • Zack Moss, RB, Utah: Had six carries for 15 yards, with a fumble, and six catches for 21 yards in the Bills’ Thursday night road win over the defending Super Bowl champions.
Former Weber State star Taron Johnson had nine tackles in the Buffalo Bills’ 31-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. Photo: Bill Wippert/Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

  • Marquise Blair, S, Utah: Signed to the Panthers’ practice squad Sept. 5.
  • Brady Christensen, OL, BYU/Bountiful: Started at left guard in the Panthers’ 26-24 home loss to the Browns.
  • Derek Wright, WR, Utah State/Snow/Manti: Signed to the Panthers’ practice squad Aug. 31.

Chicago Bears

  • Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah: Had four tackles, including three solo stops and a tackle for a loss, in the Bears’ 19-10 victory over the 49ers.
  • Braxton Jones, OL, Southern Utah/Murray: Started at left tackle in the Bears’ home victory.
  • Patrick Scales, LS, Utah State/Weber: Played in the Bears’ season-opening win.

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Jalen Davis, CB, Utah State: Active for the Bengals’ 23-20 loss to the Steelers.
  • Jay Tufele, DT, Bingham: Inactive for the Bengals’ season-opening loss.

Cleveland Browns

  • Sione Takitaki, LB, BYU: Had two tackles (both solo) in the Browns’ 26-24 victory over the Panthers.

Dallas Cowboys

  • Simi Fehoko, WR, Brighton: Had two catches for 12 yards in the Cowboys’ 19-3 loss to the Buccaneers.
  • Dalton Schultz, TE, Bingham: Had seven catches for 62 yards in the Cowboys’ home loss.

Denver Broncos

  • Garett Bolles, OL, Utah/Westlake: Started at left tackle in the Broncos’ 17-16 season-opening loss to the Seahawks on Monday night.
  • Tim Patrick, WR, Utah: Placed on the Broncos’ injured reserve list Aug. 4.

Detroit Lions

  • Penei Sewell, OL, Desert Hills: Started at right tackle in the Lions’ 38-35 loss to the Eagles.
  • Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU: Scored two rushing touchdowns and finished with 11 carries for 28 yards in the Lions’ home loss. He also had one reception for 2 yards.

Green Bay Packers

  • Tipa Galeai, LB, Utah State: Had one solo tackle in the Packers’ 23-7 loss to the Vikings.
  • Dallin Leavitt, S, Utah State: Active for the Packers’ season-opening loss.
  • Jordan Love, QB, Utah State: Was 4-of-5 passing for 65 yards after replacing starter Aaron Rodgers in the Packers’ road loss.

Houston Texans

None.

Indianapolis Colts

  • Julian Blackmon, S, Utah/Layton: Had one solo tackle in the Colts’ 20-20 tie with the Texans.
  • Chris Wilcox, CB, BYU: Signed to the Colts’ practice squad Aug. 31.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Nick Ford, OL, Utah: Signed to the Jaguars’ practice squad Aug. 31.
  • Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah: Had a game-high 11 tackles (eight solo) in the Jaguars’ 28-22 loss to the Commanders.
Former University of Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd makes a tackle in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 28-22 loss to the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. Photo: Kam Nedd/Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Zayne Anderson, CB, BYU/Stansbury: Signed to the Chiefs’ practice squad Aug. 31.

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Jackson Barton, OL, Utah/Brighton: Active for the Raiders’ 24-19 loss to the Chargers.
  • Andre James, C, Herriman: Started at center but suffered an injury and was taken by ambulance to an area hospital to be evaluated for a concussion.
  • Cole Fotheringham, TE, Utah: Signed to the Raiders’ practice squad Aug. 31.
Raiders center Andre James (68) was injured in Las Vegas’ 24-19 loss to the San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2022. Photo: Michael Clemens/Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Michael Davis, CB, BYU: Had three tackles, all solo stops, in the Chargers’ 24-19 victory over the Raiders.
  • Alohi Gilman, S, Orem: Had a solo tackle in the Chargers’ home victory.
  • Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU: Had three tackles (two solo) in the season-opening win.

Los Angeles Rams

  • Terrell Burgess, S, Utah: Active for the Rams’ 31-10 loss to the Bills.
  • Matt Gay, K, Utah/Orem: Connected on his only field goal attempt, a 57-yarder, in the Rams’ home loss.
  • Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State: Had seven tackles, including a sack and a tackle for a loss, in the Rams’ season-opening loss.
  • Jonah Williams, DT, Weber State: Active for the Rams in the Thursday night loss.
Former Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner made his debut with the Los Angeles Rams following 10 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. Photo: Brevin Townsell/L.A. Rams

Miami Dolphins

  • James Empey, OL, BYU/American Fork: Signed to the Dolphins’ practice squad Sept. 1 .
  • Porter Gustin, LB, Salem Hills: Signed to the Dolphins’ practice squad Sept. 1 .
  • Eric Rowe, S, Utah: Inactive for the Dolphins’ 20-7 victory over the Patriots.

Minnesota Vikings

None.

New England Patriots

  • Harvey Langi, LB, BYU/Bingham: Active in the Patriots’ 20-7 loss to the Dolphins.

New Orleans Saints

  • Kaden Elliss, LB, Judge Memorial: Had three tackles (two solo) in the Saints’ 27-26 win over the Falcons.
  • Chase Hansen, LB, Utah/Lone Peak: Had a solo tackle in the Saints’ come-from-behind victory.
  • Taysom Hill, TE/QB, BYU: Had four carries for 81 yards — including a 57-yard touchdown sprint — in the Saints’ 27-26 road win. He also had one reception for 2 yards.
  • Daniel Sorensen, S, BYU: Active in the Saints’ season-opening victory.
  • Nephi Sewell, LB, Utah/Desert Hills: Signed to the Saints’ practice squad Aug. 31.
  • Rashid Shaheed, WR, Weber State: Signed to the Saints’ practice squad Aug. 31.
Former BYU quarterback Taysom Hill runs the ball in the New Orleans Saints’ 27-26 win over the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. Photo: Michael C. Hebert/New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

None.

New York Jets

  • Bradlee Anae, DL, Utah: Signed to the Jets’ practice squad Aug. 31.
  • Zach Wilson, QB, BYU/Corner Canyon: Inactive in the Jets’ 24-9 season-opening loss to the Ravens.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Britain Covey, WR, Utah/Timpview: Signed to the Eagles’ practice squad Sept. 1.
  • Sua Opeta, OL, Weber State/Stansbury: Active for the Eagles’ 38-35 victory over the Lions.
  • Noah Togiai, TE, Hunter: Signed to the Eagles’ practice squad Sept. 1.

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah: Active for the Steelers’ 23-20 victory over the Bengals.
  • Jaylen Warren, RB, Utah State/Snow/East: Had three carries for 7 yards in the Steelers’ road victory.

San Francisco 49ers

  • Fred Warner, LB, BYU: Had six tackles (four solo) in the 49ers’ 19-10 loss to the Bears.
  • Mitch Wishnowsky, P, Utah: Punted four times for a 40.3-yard average (long of 51), with three punts inside the Bears’ 20-yard line.

Seattle Seahawks

  • Cody Barton, LB, Utah/Brighton: Had 10 tackles — including eight solo stops, two tackles for a loss and a sack — in the Seahawks’ 17-16 victory over the Broncos on Monday night.
  • Bryan Mone, DL, Highland: Had a solo tackle in the Seahawks’ season-opening victory.
  • Darwin Thompson, RB, Utah State: Signed to the Seahawks’ practice squad Aug. 31.
Former University of Utah linebacker Cody Barton celebrates during the Seattle Seahawks’ 17-16 victory over the Denver Broncos, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. Photo: Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Deven Thompkins, WR, Utah State: Signed to the Buccaneers’ practice squad Aug. 31.

Tennessee Titans

None.

Washington Commanders

  • Tyler Larsen, C, Utah State/Jordan: Placed on reserve/physically unable to perform list Aug. 23.
  • Dax Milne, WR, BYU/Bingham: Returned two kicks for an 11-yard average (long of 13) in the Commanders’ 28-22 victory over the Jaguars.

Positions: Center (C), cornerback (CB), defensive lineman (DL), kicker (K), linebacker (LB), long snapper (LS), offensive lineman (OL), punter (P), quarterback (QB), running back (RB), safety (S), tight end (TE), wide receiver (WR).

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