Kelley L. Cox/USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame in the NFL: Week 1

NFL teams opened the season over the weekend and Notre Dame was well represented. Irish Illustrated tracks former players in the league during Week 1, highlighted by a two-touchdown performance from Tyler Eifert.

Robert Blanton - safety - Minnesota Vikings

Blanton makes up an all-Irish safety tandem in Minnesota (0-1) alongside Harrison Smith and pitched in three tackles Monday night in a 20-3 loss to San Francisco.

Kyle Brindza - kicker - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Now the starter in Tampa Bay (0-1) after being traded from Detroit, Brindza went 2-for-2 on extra points in a 42-14 loss to Tennessee. Brindza didn’t attempt a field goal in his regular season NFL debut.

Sergio Brown - safety - Jacksonville Jaguars

Brown started for Jacksonville (0-1) and registered four solo tackles in a 20-9 loss to Carolina.

David Bruton - safety - Denver Broncos

Bruton is a captain for Denver (1-0) this season and turned in a solid season debut with four tackles and two passes defensed before being helped off the field with a hip injury. Early word is Bruton will be fine moving forward.

Jimmy Clausen - quarterback - Chicago Bears

Clausen served as backup to Jay Cutler for the Bears (0-1) in a 31-23 home loss to division rival Green Bay. Cutler threw a critical interception to Clay Matthews in the fourth quarter, sealing the loss.

Tyler Eifert - tight end - Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati (1-0) rolled to a 33-13 win over Oakland and Eifert turned in a standout performance. He reeled in nine catches on 12 targets for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Eifert came up big in the red zone with scores from 13 and 8 yards out.

Anthony Fasano - tight end - Tennessee Titans

Fasano made the most of his one target in a 42-14 win for Tennessee (1-0) over Tampa Bay with a reception for 18 yards.

Michael Floyd - wide receiver - Arizona Cardinals

Floyd returned for Arizona (1-0) just a month after dislocating three fingers. He was targeted just once but made a catch for 18 yards in a 31-19 win over New Orleans.

Jonas Gray - running back - Miami Dolphins

Gray landed in Miami (1-0) after being cut by New England but didn’t make the list of actives for the season opener, a 17-10 win over Washington. Gray was then cut.

Ryan Harris - offensive tackle - Denver Broncos

Harris started for Denver (1-0) in a 19-13 win over Baltimore.

J.J. Jansen - long snapper - Carolina Panthers

Jansen remains the long snapper in Carolina (1-0), which grabbed a 20-9 win over Jacksonville to start the season. He’s spent his entire career in Carolina and has played in every game since debuting in 2009.

TJ Jones - wide receiver - Detroit Lions

Jones didn’t make the list of actives for Detroit (0-1) in a 33-28 loss at San Diego after being listed as the starting punt returner on the depth chart.

Kapron Lewis-Moore - defensive end - Baltimore Ravens

Lewis-Moore made two tackles for Baltimore (0-1) in its loss to Denver.

Zack Martin - offensive guard - Dallas Cowboys

Martin started again at guard from Dallas (1-0) as it rallied for a 27-26 victory over the New York Giants. He’s started every regular season game of his young career.

Troy Niklas - tight end - Arizona Cardinals

Niklas played for Arizona in its win over New Orleans but didn’t make any catches. He spent most of preseason on the physically unable to perform list after being limited to just seven games last year thanks to an ankle injury.

Louis Nix - defensive tackle - New York Giants

New York signed Nix after Houston cut him loose, but he didn’t make the list of actives for the season opener, a loss to Dallas.

Theo Riddick - running back - Detroit Lions

Riddick made two catches on two targets for 37 yards and a touchdown. His score came from 21 yards out late in the fourth quarter, capping an 83-yard drive.

Cody Riggs - cornerback - Tennessee Titans

Riggs made the Titans roster then picked up his first career tackle against Tampa Bay, a 42-14 win.

Trevor Robinson - center - San Diego Chargers

Robinson didn’t start but played for San Diego (1-0) in its 33-28 win over Detroit.

Kyle Rudolph - tight end - Minnesota Vikings

Rudolph turned in a nice start to the season personally with five catches for 53 yards on seven targets in the Minnesota loss.

Harrison Smith - safety - Minnesota Vikings

Smith had nine tackles against San Francisco, second on the team only to one-time Irish recruiting target Anthony Barr (12). Plus Smith delivered what might have been the hit of the game, a punishing blow to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Golden Tate - wide receiver - Detroit Lions

Eight targets resulted in four receptions for 24 yards for Tate in Detroit’s loss.

Manti Teo - linebacker -San Diego Chargers

Te’o registered five tackles and a tackle-for-loss in the Chargers win.

Justin Tuck - defensive end - Oakland Raiders

Tuck piled up five tackles, two pass break ups and a tackle-for-loss in the Oakland loss.

Stephon Tuitt - defensive end - Pittsburgh Steelers

Tuitt began his second professional campaign as a starter but registered just one tackle for Pittsburgh (0-1) in a 28-21 loss to New England. He spent part of the preseason with an ankle injury.

Darrin Walls - cornerback - New York Jets

Walls registered one tackle for New York (1-0) in a 31-10 demolition of Cleveland, which turned the ball over five times.

Chris Watt - center - San Diego Chargers

Watt started at center for San Diego in its win over Detroit.

Ian Williams - defensive tackle - San Francisco 49ers

Williams has carved out a spot for himself right at the middle of the San Francisco defense. He started and made three tackles for the 49ers (1-0) in their 20-3 win over Minnesota.

Sam Young - offensive tackle - Jacksonville Jaguars

Young didn’t start but did get into the mix for Jacksonville in its loss to Carolina.

Other notable names

Cornerback Bennett Jackson (New York Giants) will miss the entire season with a knee injury suffered in preseason.

Center John Sullivan (Minnesota) underwent back surgery and has been placed on the injured reserve, designated to return list. He’ll miss at least the first eight weeks.


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