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Florida Gators in the NFL: Tim Tebow's cameo leads early preseason returns

But it came in the last game of the weekend, so scroll down, suckers!

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

You care about former Florida Gators greats balling out in the NFL. So do we. So we'll run a weekly review of those players' exploits on the gridiron (and perhaps off of it) on Mondays, as each week of action concludes.

Hall of Fame Game Weekend

Minnesota Vikings 14, Pittsburgh Steelers 3

The Steelers only had two Gators at the time of the game — they signed David Nelson last week — and only one of them, Marcus Gilbert, participated in the game, with All-Pro selection Maurkice Pouncey sitting on the sidelines. (Theoretically, anyway: You try finding a participation report for a preseason game without access to the NFL's Game Statistics and Information System.) The Vikings' two Gators, Sharrif Floyd and Justin Trattou, had a similar night: Floyd didn't record any stats and Trattou finished with just a pass defense.

Week 1

Green Bay Packers 22, New England Patriots 11

The Packers don't have any Gators on the roster — we're definitely not counting special teams coordinator Ron Zook. The Patriots' lone remaining Florida product, Dominique Easley, had a single tackle on the evening.

Baltimore Ravens 30, New Orleans Saints 27

Week 1's most compelling (?) preseason game featured three lead changes in the final 7:21 of play, and nothing at all from the Gators involved: Neither the Ravens' Matt Elam (whose season is still very much in jeopardy because of a torn biceps) and Will Hill nor the Saints' Ronald Powell recorded any statistics.

Detroit Lions 23, New York Jets 3

Neither team employs a Gator.

Washington 20, Cleveland Browns 17

Probably the most significant outcome for a Florida product happened in this game: Jordan Reed, who didn't play for Washington thanks to a pulled hamstring, became the team's lone experienced tight end as Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen suffered season-ending injuries. While it's not clear if Reed will get a much bigger role in Washington's offense as a result, as Jay Gruden appears committed to making that offense a run-first attack and Reed was behind the more physical Paul on the depth chart, opportunity is clearly banging down the door.

The other three Washington Gators fared about how you might expect: Third-rounder Matt Jones had a healthy 38 yards on five carries, posting the best yards per carry mark and the longest carry (a 23-yard run) of any player in the game, and also caught one pass for 11 yards; Mack Brown had five carries for eight yards; Quinton Dunbar, listed as a WR/CB on Washington's roster, didn't record any offensive statistics, but did have a tackle and a pass defense.

The Browns' lone Gator, Joe Haden, did not play. But he does have the best-selling jersey in the NFL, at least per Dick's Sporting Goods (which apparently updated statistics it gave to media in July last week):

Chicago Bears 27, Miami Dolphins 10

Jon Bostic had two tackles. Jelani Jenkins had four, two solo and one for loss. The former Florida linebackers also had a moment after the game.

Oh, and Caleb Sturgis made a 31-yard field goal, and Mike Pouncey almost certainly did not play, and Tyler Moore ... is still on the Bears' roster! (For now.)

But the worrisome thing, if you're into caring about whether Gators will get paid to play football, is that Mike Gillislee was relatively unimpressive as a runner (five carries, 16 yards), and lost a fumble. With the Dolphins almost certain to cut at least one player from their current six-man crew of running backs, that's the wrong kind of standing out for a player to be doing in preseason action.

San Diego Chargers 17, Dallas Cowboys 7

San Diego doesn't have a Gator and the lone Gator wearing a Dallas star this year, Jeremy Mincey, didn't record a stat.

Atlanta Falcons 31, Tennessee Titans 24

Tennessee tight end Tevin Westbrook had one reception for six yards (from Charlie Whitehurst, and to move the chains on third down!) in this one, so that's neat. There are no Gators on the Falcons' roster.

Carolina Panthers 25, Buffalo Bills 24

The Panthers don't have a former Gator except for Cam Newton, who does not count in any way, but the Bills have two, and the one healthy enough to play last Friday (stunningly, not Percy Harvin), made a splash.

That Deonte Thompson's TD came on a pass from EJ Manuel — one of the Bills' seven currently rostered Florida State products — means little; that Thompson led all receivers with 61 yards surely does, right?

Jacksonville Jaguars 23, Pittsburgh Steelers 21

In what should've been Dante Fowler, Jr.'s NFL debut, Nelson did not record even a target, Maurkice Pouncey played a series and not much more, Gilbert didn't do much, and Josh Evans had three tackles, one for loss.

Cincinnati Bengals 23, New York Giants 10

Carlos Dunlap had a tackle; Reggie Nelson did not. (The Giants don't have a Gator.)

Oakland Raiders 18, St. Louis Rams 3

Neiron Ball had three tackles for the Raiders, and Leon Orr had a tackle for loss; Marcus Roberson had three tackles for the Rams. Janoris Jenkins (who counts slightly more than Cam Newton) did not record a statistic, and Andre Debose, in a truly shocking development, is on the Raiders' injured reserve.

Denver Broncos 22, Seattle Seahawks 20

Finally, the Broncos get revenge for that Super Bowl! Andre Caldwell was targeted twice; Solomon Patton had a 19-yard kickoff return and a fumble recovery, but no targets. Max Garcia earned the highest grade of any Broncos offensive lineman per Pro Football Focus, and Lerentee McCray is still a Bronco. (No Gators on the Seahawks roster.)

Houston Texans 23, San Francisco 49ers 10

Trent Brown (he apparently dropped the "on," per the Niners' official roster) played the most snaps of any offensive player for San Fran, which probably bodes well for his chances of making the team, you'd figure. (The Texans do not have a Gator.)

Minnesota Vikings 26, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16

Louis Murphy led all players with four catches and 54 yards, reeling in almost half of Jameis Winston's nine completions on the night. Major Wright had a tackle. Sharrif Floyd, despite dreaming of sacking Winston, did not. and did not record a statistic; Justin Trattou had two tackles and a quarterback hit ... but it was on Matt Glennon.

Kansas City Chiefs 34, Arizona Cardinals 19


Frankie Hammond still doesn't have a TD in a regular season game, but he scored that touchdown above (on a fairly nifty catch), and the Chiefs' Twitter account used the nickname this dumb blog kinda invented for Hammond, so that's cool. Jaye Howard did not record a statistic for Kansas City.

D.J. Humphries led the Cardinals' offensive snap count, with 45 plays; Jon Halapio had 34. Revenge of the Birds thinks Halapio won't make the 53-man roster, though.

Philadelphia Eagles 36, Indianapolis Colts 10

Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow:

The good news is that Tim Tebow's throwing motion appears to be more compact when he's standing tall in the pocket, and that his legs still work well enough for him to run for a touchdown. The bad news is that he still scampers to oblivion from time to time and struggles when plays break down (three sacks for a total loss of 28 yards). He completed just six of 12 passes for 69 yards, too, and generally didn't seem definitively better than Matt Barkley — something he probably needs to do to make the Eagles' roster.

Not that anyone cared, but Trey Burton also had a 21-yard catch and a tackle, Jaylen Watkins had two tackles and a pass defense, and Riley Cooper played only briefly on special teams. On the Colts' side, Jonotthan Harrison got almost half of the Colts' snaps at center, and Earl Okine was on the field for 20 snaps — and registered one of the three sacks of Tebow. (Okine had three tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack.)