NFL Cougar Highlights: Week One

JUST SEVEN WAZZU alums suited up for the opening weekend of the NFL's 2012 season, the smallest number since this column began in 1998. Most notable of the bunch, of course, is kicker Jason Hanson, who began his 21st professional season on Sunday.

At 42, Hanson is the oldest active player in the NFL and has been with one team longer than anyone in the league's history.

It was business as usual for the old pro in the Lions' opener, as he was perfect on each of his extra-point and field goal attempts.

Notably absent from NFL rosters this season are safety Eric Frampton, receiver Jason Hill, and defensive backs Hamza and Husein Abdullah.

Frampton, a five-year veteran, was cut by Minnesota despite leading them in special teams tackles the past four seasons. He had try outs with New England and Chicago this past week, but has yet to sign with either club.

Six-year veteran Hill was signed by Denver during the off-season, but saw limited preseason action—catching just one pass—before being released by the club.

The Abdullah brothers both became free agents following the 2011 season and opted to postpone their NFL careers in order to make a pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca. Husein—a four-year veteran, started for Minnesota last year; Hamza played seven seasons in the league and spent the past three seasons with Arizona.

Three Cougars from the 2011 squad—offensive lineman David Gonzales, linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis, and receiver Jared Karstetter—signed with NFL teams as free agents last Spring, but failed to break into the league. Hoffman-Ellis, however, was a late cut by St. Louis and appeared in three preseason games, posting one tackle.

Here's how the NFL Cougs performed in week one:

Erik Coleman, S, Detroit, 9th season: The Spokane native posted six tackles (4 solo) in the Lions' 27-23 win against St. Louis.

Jed Collins, FB, New Orleans, 4th season: No stats from the Saints' 40-32 loss to Washington.

Brandon Gibson, WR, St. Louis, 4th season: The Puyallup native caught four passes for 51 yards, of those good for a 23-yard touchdown reception. The Rams fell to Detroit, 27-23.

Jason Hanson, K, Detroit, 21st season: The Spokane native was perfect on three extra-point attempts and two field goal tries (from 41 and 45 yards) in the Lions' defeat of the Rams.

Jerome Harrison, RB, Detroit, 7th season: Did not play; officially listed on the Lions' reserve/non-football injury list.

Chris Ivory, RB, New Orleans, 3rd season :Did not play; declared inactive for the Saints' opening day loss to the Redskins.

Rian Lindell, K, Buffalo, 13th season: The Vancouver, Wash. native was perfect on four point-after kicks in the Bills' 48-28 fall to the New York Jets.

Ropati Pitoitua, DE, Kansas City, 4th season: The Tacoma native posted one solo tackle in the Chiefs' 40-24 loss to Atlanta.

Marcus Trufant, DB, Seattle, 10th season: The Tacoma native tallied two stops (one solo) in the Seahawks' 20-16 loss to Arizona.

Zack Williams, G, Carolina, 2nd season: Did not play; assigned to Panthers' practice squad.

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