NFL Cougar Highlights: Week Sixteen

CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY for Cougar great Eric Frampton. The defensive back and special teams standout — unemployed for most of the season after being released from injured reserve by Dallas — signed with the playoff-bound New Orleans Saints.

Frampton, regarded as one of the top special teams players in the NFL over the past few seasons, was signed specifically to bolster New Orleans' kickoff coverage. He led the Cowboys with 21 special teams tackles last season. In addition, he started at the safety position for the club in the season's final two games.

This is his seventh season in the NFL. He was originally drafted by Oakland in 2007, but suited-up for Detroit and Minnesota before joining Dallas early last season.

Frampton, who wore number 37 at Washington State and with the Minnesota Vikings for five seasons, will don the same number with the Saints. Saints icon and fellow Cougar graduate, Steve Gleason, also wore No. 37 during his memorable career with New Orleans. Upon his signing, Frampton tweeted "I'm honored to wear the same number as Steve Gleason. Especially since we both attended WSU #NothingButRespect." Gleason was also considered to be one of the league's premier special teamers during his seven year career.

Frampton began the season on the Cowboys' injured reserve list with a groin injury, but was released by the club shortly after opening day of the regular season. He came close to being signed by Baltimore earlier this season after trying out with the club.

Here's how the NFL Cougs performed in week 16:

Husain Abdullah, CB, Kansas City, 5th season: No recorded stats from the Chiefs' 23-7 loss to Indianapolis.

Jed Collins, FB, New Orleans, 5th season: Ran the ball three times for 8 yards and caught 2 passes for another 3 yards in the Saints' 17-13 fall to Carolina.

Eric Frampton, S, New Orleans, 7th season: Posted one solo tackle on special teams in the loss to the Panthers.

Brandon Gibson, WR, Miami, 5th season: Did not play; out for the season on injured reserve due to a torn patella suffered in week 8.

Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets, 4th season: Carried the ball 20 times for 109 yards (long of 28) in the Jets' 24-13 win against Cleveland. He has rushed for a personal best 814 yards this season.

Rian Lindell, K, Tampa Bay, 14th season: The Vancouver native connected on two field goals (from 35 and 32 yards) and one extra point in the Bucs' 23-13 loss to St. Louis.

Travis Long, LB, Philadelphia, 1st year: Did not play; assigned to the Eagles' practice squad.

Ropati Pitoitua, DE, Tennessee, 5th season: The Tacoma native posted three solo tackles—including two tackles for a loss of yardage—and defensed a pass in the Titans'20-16 win against Jacksonville.

Jeff Tuel, QB, Buffalo, Rookie: Activated as the number two quarterback, but no recorded stats from the Bills' 19-0 victory against Miami.

Marquess Wilson, WR, Chicago, Rookie: After suiting up for 10 consecutive weeks, was declared inactive for the Bears'54-11 loss to Philadelphia.

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