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Badgers in the NFL: How former Wisconsin players fared in Week 1

Twenty-five former Badgers were on NFL rosters for Week 1 of the 2016 season. How did they fare?

Miami Dolphins v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Wisconsin Badgers wrapped up Week 2 of their season on Saturday, while 25 alumni opened their NFL season over the weekend. Below are some of the highlight performances, and a full list of Badgers on NFL rosters can be found here.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks quarterback

Wilson threw a touchdown to wide receiver Doug Baldwin with 31 seconds left to lift the Seahawks over the Miami Dolphins, 12-10. Wilson finished with 258 passing yards and an interception. He tacked on 16 rushing yards on four carries, but appeared to sprain his ankle during the game. Based on his Twitter account, Wilson expects to play next week.

JJ Watt, Houston Texans defensive lineman

Despite questions earlier in the week regarding his health, Watt played 88 percent of the Texans' snaps during their 23-14 win over the Chicago Bears. He finished with one tackle and three quarterback hits.

Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers running back

Gordon broke out with his first two career touchdowns on Sunday. He added 57 yards during San Diego’s loss to Kansas City. A fellow Badger alum, fullback Derek Watt, was on the field for both of Gordon’s scores.

Jonathan Casillas, New York Giants linebacker

After being named the team’s defensive captain on Friday, Casillas led the Giants with 11 tackles including a potential touchdown-saver on Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Giants won, 20-19.

DeAndre Levy, Detroit Lions linebacker

After missing most of 2015 with a hip injury, Levy returned to help the Lions beat the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. He recorded four tackles and a personal foul penalty for taunting.

James White, New England Patriots running back

Splitting time with fellow running back LeGarrette Blount, White rushed only one time for four yards but caught five passes for 40 yards on Sunday night. White looked comfortable and quick when he had the ball during the win, prompting a certain former Wisconsin basketball standout to give him a shout out on Twitter.

Brad Nortman, Jacksonville Jaguars punter

Nortman only had two punting opportunities during Jacksonville’s 27-23 loss to Green Bay, but he made the most of them. He averaged 62.5 yards and both kicks were downed inside the 20.


  • Getting a start in his first NFL game, outside linebacker Joe Schobert recorded one tackle for the Cleveland Brown
  • Wide receiver Jared Abbrederis recorded one catch for eight yards on Sunday for the Packers
  • Cincinnati Bengals WR Alex Erickson handles kick and punt returns for the team, returning one of each for 15 yards apiece
  • Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Beau Allen recorded a tackle during the team’s win Sunday
  • Former Badgers linemen Travis Frederick, Joe Thomas, Kevin Zietler and Rick Wagner all anchored their offensive lines as starters for the Cowboys, Browns, Bengals and Ravens, respectively
  • Three former Badgers (Rams offensive tackle Rob Havenstein and tight end Lance Kendricks, and 49ers cornerback Marcus Cromartie) played on Monday Night Football.