Continuing the Legacy: Alumni impress in NFL preseason


CW / Hannah Saad

Former Alabama players showcased their talents over the span of four weeks of the NFL preseason to be prepared for Week 1 or, in some cases, to try out for a final spot of a 53-man roster.

The former Crimson Tide standouts did not take long to make an impact in Week 1 of the preseason with 13 players making their NFL debuts. In his professional debut, Cleveland Browns linebacker Mack Wilson returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown. Likewise, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Cyrus Jones scored a touchdown with a 19-yard interception return.

In Week 2, Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. scored his first touchdown with a 3-yard catch and finished with five catches for 28 yards. New England Patriots running back Damien Harris impressed fans in his first game with 80 rushing yards on 14 carries and 23 receiving yards on four catches.

Week 3 featured an impressive defensive performance from Arizona Cardinals safety Deionte Thompson who recorded 9 tackles against the Minnesota Vikings.

Many former Alabama players did not play during the final week of the preseason due to having larger role for their teams this upcoming season.

Overall during the preseason, 68 former members of the Crimson Tide were on preseason rosters, whether they were healthy or injured. After all 32 teams cut their rosters from 90 to 53 players, 56 Alabama alumni found themselves on an active roster.

In addition to those making the 53-man rosters, Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Lester Cotton, New York Jets linebacker Jamey Mosley, Washington Redskins wide receiver Cam Sims and Carolina Panthers wide receiver DeAndrew White were initially cut from the active rosters, but were signed back to their respective practice squads.