Your Weekly Spartans in the NFL Report

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Drew Stanton has become a valuable asset to the Arizona Cardinals. An experienced NFL quarterback, Stanton has established himself as an important backup to Carson Palmer. He has posted some impressive numbers thus far in the preseason, completing 18 of 36 attempts for 159 yards and a touchdown. For those interested in reading more about Stanton, check out this article on the Cardinals’ team website: http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/article-2/Drew-Stanton-On-A-Role-For-Cards/880082bb-a26e-4b1b-9a4c-1c8eb4384267

Dolphins punter Brandon Fields has looked excellent thus far in the preseason. After a stellar performance last week, Fields again put on a show on Saturday, punting eight times for a 54.1 yard average in a 24-17 loss to the Texans. Fellow Dolphin Dion Sims also got some playing time, as the rookie started at tight end. Thanks to his hard work over the offseason, Sims has had an impressive training camp. Following Dustin Keller’s season-ending injury on Saturday, the former Spartan looks poised to earn more playing time. Miami offensive coordinator Mike Sherman even talked about Sims’ development during the coach’s comments to the media on Sunday: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-08-11/sports/sfl-mike-sherman-transcript-20130811_1_dion-sims-other-guys-lance-louis

Texans wide receiver Keshawn Martin has taken advantage of his playing time thus far. The second-year player caught four passes for 44 yards and returned a kickoff for 22 yards against Miami on Saturday. Martin is looking to take the next step this season and become a top target for quarterback Matt Schaub.

Ogemdi Nwagbuo made a convincing argument for a Lions’ roster spot with his performance on Thursday evening. The defensive tackle notched a tackle, assist, and a tackle for loss in a 24-6 loss to the Browns. Fellow former Spartan and current Lion Ross Weaver also saw the field, but did not record any stats.

The Spartan contingent on the Browns – Kellen Davis and Brian Hoyer – had a quiet night against the Lions. Davis reeled in one pass for 13 yard, while Hoyer threw three passes, completing one for 19 yards.

Buccaneers defensive end William Gholston received some playing time against the Patriots’ first-teamers on Friday in Tampa Bay’s 25-21 loss to New England. The rookie did not disappoint, notching one tackle and two assists. Gholston is fighting for a backup defensive end spot, and has looked impressive so far.

Patriots offensive lineman Chris McDonald played against Gholston and the Bucs on Friday, but did not have any stats. McDonald is fighting for a roster spot after being signed as an undrafted free agent in May.

The Bengal-Spartan duo of Kyle Cook and Domata Peko remains strong as the preseason continues on, as both started for Cincinnati on Saturday in a 27-19 win over the Titans. Cook did not record any stats at center, but Peko recorded one assist at defensive tackle. For the Titans, linebacker Greg Jones was held out due to an undisclosed injury.

Mitchell White saw some playing time for the Raiders in a 28-20 loss to the Saints, but the rookie cornerback did not record any stats.

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles has performed well in the preseason thus far. In his second appearance of the preseason, Foles completed six of eight passes for 53 yards and also carried the ball twice for 13 yards, including a seven-yard touchdown. His only significant mistake of the night was an interception in the first quarter. Foles will have to finish off the preseason well to outperform his competitor for the starting role, Michael Vick. A quick recap of Philadelphia’s 14-9 win over the Panthers can be found here: http://seattletimes.com/html/seahawks/2021622757_nfl16xml.html

Edwin Baker ran the ball with a passion on Thursday against the Bears. The Chargers running back received five carries, which he converted into 36 yards in a 33-28 loss. Baker is battling for a roster spot, and with his effort on Thursday, his chances are looking increasingly better.

Both Garrett Celek and Trenton Robinson are making significant strides in their second year in San Francisco. A long shot to make the team last year, Celek has far exceeded expectations, drawing praise from his coaches and teammates. He looks to compete for more playing time this season. Celek reeled in two passes for nine yards in a 15-13 win over the Chiefs on Friday. Fellow teammate and former Spartan Trenton Robinson has also looked good so far in training camp, as he has earned some reps with the first-team. The safety saw some playing time on Friday, but did not record any stats.

Kevin Vickerson looks to be a leader on the Denver defensive line again this year following his stellar 2012 campaign. Vickerson started at defensive tackle in Saturday’s 40-10 loss to the Seahawks, but he did not record any stats.

Cornerback Johnny Adams is looking to build on his distinguished Spartan career during his rookie year with the Colts this season. Adams has not made too much noise in camp, but he did play in his team’s 20-13 victory over the Giants on Sunday night.

Two former Spartans suffered injuries during Monday evening’s Redskins-Steelers matchup. Pittsburgh running back LeVeon Bell left the game in the first quarter with a right foot injury. The rookie carried the ball four times before he was forced to the sidelines. Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins exited the game in the second quarter with a sprained right foot. Starting in place of injured signalcaller Robert Griffin III, Cousins suffered the injury while scrambling to the sidelines, as Steelers linebacker linebacker Lawrence Timmons yanked the second-year player to the ground in the second quarter. Neither Cousins nor Bell returned to the game, and the extent of each player’s injury is not yet known.