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COMMODORES IN THE NFL
 

Note: This information on Vanderbilt players on current National Football League rosters was updated Nov. 19, 2017.

Adam Butler (2013-16) // New England // NFL Bio // Butler made the Patriots' 53-man opening day roster after signing as an undrafted rookie free agent with the defending Super Bowl champions last May. Butler is playing both tackle and end with New England.
Week 11 (Nov. 19): Butler did not register a defensive stat but played valuable minutes on the defensive front as the New England Patriots captured a 33-8 victory over Oakland at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. 
What's next: The 8-2 AFC East-leading Patriots return to the friendly atmosphere of Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 26 to face the 4-6 Miami Dolphins. Kickoff is 12 noon CT. 

Zach Cunningham (2013-16) // Houston // NFL Bio // The 57th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, Cunningham has impressed since he arrived in Houston. A consensus First Team All-America inside linebacker for the Commodores in 2016, Cunningham has received high marks from Texan coaches with his abilities to play the rush and defend the pass. Cunningham joins a Houston defense that includes former Commodore defensive back Andre Hal.
Week 11 (Nov. 19): Cunningham registered four total tackles as a starting weakside linebacker as the Houston Texans captured an important 31-21 home victory over the Arizona Cardinals at NRG Stadium. 
What's next: The 4-6 Texans will play in the Monday Night Football feature on Nov. 27, traveling to take on the 5-5 Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. CT.

Jay Cutler (2002-05) // Miami // NFL Bio // Retirement didn't last long for the veteran Cutler, who has decided to continue his career with former Bears mentor Adam Gase in South Beach. Gase confirmed Cutler's return to the NFL in early August. Cutler, named to the Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015, has thrown for 33,773 yards and 218 touchdowns during an 11-year career with Denver and Chicago. He suffered a season-ending arm injury midway through the 2007 season, and announced intentions in May to join FOX Sports as a NFL color analyst. A leg injury to Dolphin QB Ryan Tannehill opened a path for Cutler's return to the game.
Week 11 (Nov. 19): Cutler struggled in the first half of the Dolphins' 30-20 home loss to Tampa Bay, then did not play after intermission due to injury. He was 6-of-12 for 83 yards and a touchdown in the first half. 
What's next: Cutler and the 4-6 Dolphins are back on the road Sunday, Nov. 26 for a divisional game. They travel to face the 8-2 New England Patriots. Kickoff in Gillette Stadium is 12 noon CT. 

Andre Hal (2010-13) // Houston // NFL Bio // Hal, the Texans' starting free safety, signed a new three-year deal in August in advance of his fourth season with the club. Hal is coming off his finest year, helping Houston advance to the second round of the AFC playoffs by registering 60 total tackles, three interceptions and 10 passes defended. In his final appearance last year, Hal registered six total tackles, an interception and two defensed passes in Houston's playoff loss to the Patriots. The former Commodore cornerback also earned 11 starts at free safety last year, and has 22 career starting assignments. Former Vanderbilt All-America Zach Cunningham joins Hal on the Houston roster.
Week 11 (Nov. 19): Hal registered four total tackles and contributed an interception, helping Houston to a 31-21 home victory over Arizona in NRG Stadium. The interception was Hal's third of the season - and ninth of this career. 
What's next: The 4-6 Texans will play in the Monday Night Football feature on Nov. 27, traveling to take on the 5-5 Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. CT.

Casey Hayward (2008-11) // L.A. Chargers // NFL Bio // Hayward enters his sixth season regarded as one of the NFL's elite cornerbacks. In 2016, Hayward enjoyed his finest season, earning his initial Pro Bowl recognition after leading the league with seven interceptions. He also ranked second in the league with 21 pass deflections, and finished the 2016 regular season with 35 solo tackles. He joins former Commodore offensive lineman Spencer Pulley on the Charger roster.
Week 11 (Nov. 19): Hayward was tremendous in the secondary Sunday as the Chargers registered an impressive 54-24 home victory over Buffalo at Stubhub Center. Hayward posted two interceptions, three defensed passes and a tackle for loss among four total tackles in the Chargers' victory. Hayward now has three interceptions this season and 19 for his career. 
What's next: Hayward and the 4-6 Chargers move outside the AFC on Thursday, traveling to Dallas to take on the 5-5 Cowboys. Kickoff for the Thanksgiving feature in AT&T Stadium is 3:30 p.m. CT.  

Will Holden (2013-16) // Arizona // NFL Bio // Selected in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Holden earned a spot of Arizona's 53-man opening day roster with a solid showing during the preseason. He has the versatility to play either tackle or guard for the Cardinals. 
Week 11 (Nov. 19): Holden was active Sunday but did not see action as the Arizona Cardinals fell 31-21 on the road to Houston in NRG Stadium. Holden has been active in more than half of the Cardinals games as a rookie offensive lineman.
What's next: The 4-6 Cardinals host 7-3 Jacksonville on Sunday, Nov. 26 in University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals are looking to stay in contention in the NFC wildcard race. Kickoff is 3:25 p.m. CT.

Andrew Jelks (2013-16) // New England // NFL Bio // Jelks was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list Sept. 2 by the Patriots. New England coach Bill Belichick was impressed by Jelks at Vanderbilt Pro Day in March, then added Jelks as an undrafted free agent in May. Though he missed the last two seasons at Vanderbilt due to injury, Jelks joins fellow Commodore undrafted rookie free agent Adam Butler with the Patriots. 
Most recently: Jelks was removed from the reserve/non-football injury list by the Patriots Nov. 7. The guard-tackle has a three-week window to be activated by New England.


Wesley Johnson (2010-13) // New York Jets // NFL Bio // Johnson enters his fourth professional season as the Jets' starting center, a role that Nick Mangold has served for the last decade. Johnson is coming off a 2016 campaign when he filled in admirably for an injured Mangold, starting eight of the final nine games for the Jets.
Week 11 (Nov. 19): Johnson and the Jets were idle last week.
What's next: The 4-6 Jets will host the 7-3 Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Nov. 26 looking to stay in contention for an AFC wildcard berth. Kickoff in MetLife Stadium is 12 noon CT.

Jordan Matthews (2010-13) // Buffalo // NFL Bio // Matthews enters his fourth season in the NFL. On Aug. 11, 2017, Matthews was traded from Philadelphia to the Buffalo Bills. Matthews has missed three weeks this preseason with an injury, but is expected to start in the season opener vs. New York. The Commodores' all-time leading receiver is coming off a campaign when he ranked second on the Eagles with 73 receptions and 804 receiving yards. Matthews posted impressive numbers in Philly: 225 receptions, 2,673 receiving yards and 19 touchdown catches in 35 career starts. 
Week 11 (Nov. 19): Matthews missed his second game of the season with a leg injury Sunday as the Bills fell to .500 overall with the 54-24 defeat to the Los Angeles Chargers at Stubhub Center. 
What's next: The 5-5 Bills look to stay in contention for a wildcard berth on Sunday, Nov. 26 when they go to Kansas City to face the 6-4 Chiefs. Kickoff in Arrowhead Stadium is 12 noon CT. 

Spencer Pulley (2011-15) // L.A. Chargers // NFL Bio // Entering his second professional season, Pulley looks to be the opening day starter as Philip Rivers' center in Los Angeles. Pulley has enjoyed a quick rise since signing with the Chargers as an undrafted rookie free agent in May 2016. As a rookie, Pulley saw action in all 16 games for San Diego, contributing on both special teams and the offensive line. He joins former Commodore cornerback Casey Hayward on the Charger roster.
Week 11 (Nov. 19): Pulley and the offensive line helped the Chargers to more than 400 yards of total offense in an impressive 54-24 home victory over the Buffalo Bills. Pulley continued in his role as the Chargers' starting center.
What's next: Pulley and the 4-6 Chargers look to continue on the winning track in a Thanksgiving feature, traveling to Dallas to face the 5-5 Cowboys. Kickoff in AT&T Stadium is 3:30 p.m. CT. 

Stephen Weatherly (2012-15) // Minnesota // NFL Bio // Weatherly enters his second season in Minneapolis aiming for an important role on the Vikings' defensive front. Selected in the 7th round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Weatherly finished last year on Minnesota's active roster, garnering a couple of tackles in late-season appearances. Weatherly has worked hard to transition from an outside linebacker at Vanderbilt, and currently sits at the top reserve to Viking standout end Everson Griffen.
Week 11 (Nov. 19): In his second game back from injury, Weatherly contributed a tackle for loss as Minnesota continued to impress, defeating the Los Angeles Rams 24-7 at home in U.S. Bank Stadium.
What's next: The 8-2 Vikings, leaders in the NFC North, face another divisional rival on Thanksgiving as they travel to Detroit to face the 6-4 Lions. Kickoff in Ford Stadium is 11:30 a.m. CT.

In other NFL news from earlier in the season regarding Commodores:

Andrew East (2011-14) // Oakland Raiders // East was released by Oakland Sept. 2. He was in camp with the Raiders vying for the team's coveted snapping role on punts and conversions. Originally signed out of Vanderbilt by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015, East also competed for the same responsibilities with the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams.    

Barrett Gouger (2013-16) // L.A. Chargers // Gouger was released by Chargers Sept. 2. He signed a rookie free agent deal with the Chargers on Aug. 4, one day after a tryout with the team. Gouger will attempt to earn a role with the Chargers at either center or guard. 

Jonathan Krause (2010-13) // Tennessee // Krause was released by Titans Sept. 2. He impressed Tennessee teammates and coaches this preseason with his receiving abilities and desire as he works to secure a spot on the team's active roster. The wide receiver enters his second year with the Titan organization - and fourth year overall in the NFL. Krause earned a Super Bowl ring as a practice squad player for the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. 

Darrius Sims (2013-16) // Tennessee // Sims was released by Titans Sept. 2. He was signed as a rookie free agent Aug. 17 by the Titans. A versatile player who saw action as a defensive back, receiver, running back and kick returner for the Commodores is getting repetitions at cornerback for the Titans. He was originally signed by Tennessee as an undrafted free agent in May.

Steven Scheu (2011-15) // Denver // Scheu was released by the Broncos Sept. 2. Scheu was looking to make the Broncos active roster after signing a rookie free agent deal with the team during the 2016 season. Originally signed as a rookie by New England last year.

Andrew Williamson (2012-15) // Indianapolis // Williamson was released by the Colts Sept. 6 after being added to team's practice squad on Sept. 3. Williamson was originally signed by the Colta as an undrafted free agent in 2016 but missed much the season due to injury.


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