Going into week three of the NFL season, 11 former Illinois football players had gotten the opportunity to put on for the Orange and Blue.
Some former Illini saw minimal playing time while others had career performances.
Here is an update of Illinois football players in the NFL through week three.
Some may say Cincinnati Bengals captain and starting center, Ted Karras is the leader of this team.
Not only is he the best piece of the offensive line, allowing just one sack through four weeks, but he also brings a much-needed spark of energy to a Bengals team that has won two straight after starting the season 0-2.
After giving up 15 sacks for 87 yards through the first three weeks, the Bengals’ offensive line gave up just one sack for six yards in their 27-15 Thursday night win over Miami.
The Bengals (2-2) will look to go over .500 next week at Baltimore
Nate Hobbs has been on an absolute tear.
Going into week three, Hobbs had posted 20 tackles, including two tackles-for-loss and a forced fumble. His dominance has him ranked as the No. 6 corner in the league by Pro Football Focus.
In the Las Vegas Raiders’ 24-22 week three loss, Hobbs saw a slight decrease in production, posting just four tackles.
The DB will look to get back on track when the Raiders host Denver on Sunday.
Smoot made a name for himself in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 38-10 blowout win of the Los Angeles Chargers with two tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble.
This comes following a quiet one-tackle performance at Washington during week one.
The Jags host Houston on Sunday.
The linebacker made his 2022 debut in the Commanders’ 24-8 week three loss to Philadelphia. Seeing only six defensive snaps, he made the most of his limited opportunities, posting a tackle.
Eifler and the Commanders will travel to Dallas on Sunday.
Ward has been one of the top performers of the New York Giants’ defensive unit through the first three weeks of the season The edge-rusher is the team’s second-leading tackler with 16 tackles, including 10 solo and 2.5 tackles-for-loss.
In the Giants’ week three Monday Night primetime rivalry game vs. Dallas, Ward had another six-tackle performance and a pass defend.
Ward and the Giants host Chicago on Sunday.
Three weeks into the season, Joseph hasn’t seen any defensive snaps. The defensive back saw some struggles in coverage throughout the preseason but was able to rack up some tackles.
The Detroit Lions have been letting their rookie put his tackling skills to use in the special teams unit this season. Joseph posted three special teams tackles in Detroit’s week three loss to Minnesota.
The Lions visit the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
McLaughlin did not disappoint in his 2022 debut.
The Indianapolis Colts starting kicker made both attempts – the longest from 51 yards out and the other from 43 yards.
McLaughlin was also successful on his two extra point attempts, finishing the day with eight points – accounting for nearly half of the Colts’ 20 points.
The Colts take on the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.