Written By Evan McShane (@veryreasonable)
With the NFL Playoffs set to kickoff Saturday afternoon (there are four Hoosiers on playoff rosters), we decided to look back at how Indiana Football alumni fared this season with their respective teams.
Tevin Coleman | Atlanta Falcons | RB
Tevin Coleman played in 15 games this year, his third NFL season for the Atlanta Falcons, sharing halfback duties with Pro Bowler Devonta Freeman. Coleman has proven himself to be a legitimate threat in the running game and a reliable receiver out of the backfield. He had 5 touchdowns on the ground while accumulating 628 rushing yards on 156 attempts – good for over four yards per carry. He also caught 27 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns.
Dan Feeney | San Diego Chargers | G
Dan Feeney was drafted by the chargers in April of 2017 in the 3rd round. Feeney battled through camp and adjusted to the NFL lifestyle, ultimately earning a spot as second-string right guard behind Kenny Wiggins. Feeney showed promise during his limited playing time this season, and the Chargers are hopeful he can be a key cog in the wheel moving forward.
Jordan Howard | Chicago Bears | RB
Jordan Howard was once again a shining beacon of hope during a miserable Chicago Bears season. Howard should have been named to the Pro Bowl, but he was snubbed. The second-year stud tied for third in rushing touchdowns with nine. He amassed 1,122 yards on 276 carries. The workhorse carried the Bears offense this season, and proved how durable he is, having played in 31 of 32 career games. With a young quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky, the Bears will likely be a run-first team for quite some time. Howard will continue racking up TDs and yards throughout his career in Chicago.
Darius Latham | Oakland Raiders | DL
Latham was assigned to the Raiders practice squad in December after serving a league suspension. Just nine days later, Latham was promoted to the active roster. He impressed on the field, looking as if he never missed a beat. He played in three games, accumulating seven tackles, filling gaps, and showing some promise for the future at just 23 years old.
Cody Latimer | Denver Broncos | WR
Although Denver had a poor performance as a team, Cody Latimer had his best performance as a professional. Latimer, now in his fourth NFL season, played in 11 games for the Broncos. Despite horrendously inconsistent quarterback play and a problematic offensive line, Latimer managed to be productive almost every time he saw the field. In 2017, he caught 19 passes for 287 yards and 2 touchdowns. He averaged an impressive 15.1 yards per reception. Latimer has proven that no matter who is throwing the ball, he will work to get himself open.
Roger Saffold | Los Angeles Rams | G
In his 8th professional season with the Rams, Roger Saffold proved why he’s so valuable. He started in 15 games, totaling 98 games for his career. The Rams had an amazing turnaround this season, going from 4-12 to 11-5. A key part of their success was MVP-candidate, running back Todd Gurley and amazing offensive line play. Saffold played so well this season he earned himself a spot on the Associated Press All-Pro Second Team.
Jason Spriggs | Green Bay Packers | T
The second-year player out of Indiana has had a brutal beginning to his professional career. Continuously hampered by injury, Spriggs hasn’t been able to establish himself in an already-wounded Packers O-line. Spriggs was placed on injured reserve in September with a hamstring injury. He returned to the field in late-November, but one month later he dislocated his kneecap, and was placed on injured reserve again. IU fans will remember Spriggs as a talented athlete with monstrous size. Hopefully he can overcome his injuries, and find success in the NFL.
Nate Sudfeld | Philadelphia Eagles | QB
The record-holding IU quarterback was released by Washington, but found himself a home in Philadelphia. He was signed to the Eagles practice squad in September, and found himself on the active roster after Carson Wentz went down with an ACL tear. Sudfeld finally saw playing time after Philadelphia benched Nick Foles during the final game of the season against Dallas. Although the Eagles lost the game and did not score, Sudfeld looked poised in the pocket. He threw for 134 yards, completing 19-of-23 attempts. He also added a nifty 22-yard scramble. Sudfeld might not play in the playoffs, but he will be ready if his name is called.
Shane Wynn | Jacksonville Jaguars | WR
At 5-foot-6 165lbs, Shane Wynn is beating all odds by sticking around in the NFL. His remarkable attitude and competitive spirit allowed him to thrive in training camp and the preseason for Jacksonville. Unfortunately, he was placed on injured reserve in September. When healthy, he hopes to carve out a niche in the slot for Blake Bortles and the Jaguars.