Penn State Nittany Lions in the NFL – Week One

Cleveland Browns defensive end Carl Nassib (94) sacks Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

UNIVERSITY PARK – A total of 28 Penn State football alumni are populating the active rosters of 20 National Football League teams. The Nittany Lions annually are among the top 20 programs nationally in producing players in the NFL. Each week throughout the year, has provided updates on the exploits of these former Nittany Lion greats.

A total of 20 Nittany Lions saw action during the first week of NFL action in 2017. Jesse James’ Penn State tight end record for touchdowns is under assault, but James is still finding the end zone, as the current Steeler crossed the goal line twice in a narrow win over the Browns for one of the top offensive performances by a Penn State alum in the opening week. Defensive standouts included Anthony Zettel’s three-tackle and one-sack performance for the Lions in his first career start, while Sean Lee helped anchor the Cowboys’ defense in a season-opening win over the Giants with seven tackles. Injuries unfortunately factored into Week 1, as Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Adrian Amos (2011-14)

FS, Chicago Bears

Falcons 23, Bears 17

Amos saw action on special teams in the loss to the Falcons.

Brandon Bell (2013-16)

LB, Cincinnati Bengals

Ravens 20, Bengals 0

Bell is on the Bengals practice squad.

Navorro Bowman (2007-09)

LB, San Francisco 49ers

Panthers 23, 49ers 3

Bowman started the game for the 49ers and had three tackles and two assists.

Kyle Carter (2012-15)

TE, Minnesota Vikings

Vikings 29, Saints 19

Carter is on the Vikings practice squad.

Jack Crawford (2008-11)

DE, Atlanta Falcons

Falcons 23, Bears 17

Crawford played nearly half of the Falcons’ defensive snaps and had a pair of quarterback hits.

Garry Gilliam (2010-12)

T, San Francisco 49ers

Panthers 23, 49ers 3

Gilliam saw action on special teams in his debut to the 49ers.

Chris Godwin (2014-16)

WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers vs. Dolphins game was rescheduled to Week 11 due to Hurricane Irma.

Robbie Gould (2001-04)

K, San Francisco 49ers

Panthers 23, 49ers 3

Gould converted a 44-yard field goal, his only attempt on the day, in his first game with the 49ers.

Christian Hackenberg (2013-15)

QB, New York Jets

Bills 21, Jets 12

Hackenberg was active but did not play.

Tamba Hali (2002-05)

LB, Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs 42, Patriots 27

Hali is on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list.

Jordan Hill (2009-12)

DT, Detroit Lions

Lions 35, Cardinals 23

Hill is on injured reserve.

Chris Hogan

(men’s lacrosse – 2007-10)

WR, New England Patriots

Chiefs 42, Patriots 27

Hogan started and made one catch for eight yards and had three rushes for 17 yards in a loss to the Chiefs. Hogan had a 13-yard run to put the Patriots in field goal range and take a 10-7 lead in the second quarter.

Mike Hull (2011-14)

LB, Miami Dolphins

The Buccaneers vs. Dolphins game was rescheduled to Week 11 due to Hurricane Irma.

Jesse James (2012-14)

TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers 21, Browns 18

James made six catches for 41 yards and two touchdowns in a season-opening victory over the Browns. It was James’ first game with multiple touchdowns and is the sixth-highest yardage total of his NFL career.

DaQuan Jones (2010-13)

DE, Tennessee Titans

Raiders 26, Titans 16

Jones started for the Titans and had one tackle and two assists on the day. Jones played more than half of the defensive snaps in the game.

Austin Johnson (2012-15)

DT, Tennessee Titans

Raiders 26, Titans 16

Johnson had assisted on a tackle in a loss to the Raiders, playing on a quarter of the team’s defensive snaps.

Sean Lee (2005-07, 2009)

MLB, Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys 19, Giants 3

Lee started for the Cowboys.