Spartans who played in NFL in 2017 but are not currently on an NFL roster:
DT Jerel Worthy
Played five games with the Bills before getting released in November . . . had five tackles . . . has played in 42 career games (Green Bay, 2012-13; Buffalo, 2015-17), collecting 32 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
TE Dion Sims – Chicago Bears (fifth season)
Fifth-year tight end spent his first season with the Bears in 2017 . . . started a career-high 14 games . . . had 15 catches for 180 yards and one touchdown . . . CAREER: Has played in 70 career games, including 36 starts . . . has 89 career receptions for 879 yards and nine TDs.
DT Joel Heath – Houston Texans (second season)
Second-year defensive tackle improved upon his rookie season with 24 tackles (17 solo, 7 assists) in 13 games, including nine starts . . . CAREER: Has played in 25 games the past two seasons with the Texans, including 15 starts . . . has 32 career tackles with three sacks.
S Kurtis Drummond – Houston Texans (third season)
Third-year safety recorded a career-high 20 tackles in 15 games of action . . . had a career-high five tackles, including a sack, in win over Cleveland in Week 6 . . . CAREER: Has tallied 34 tackles in 24 career games . . . did not play in 2016 due to an injury . . . played nine games his rookie season in 2015.
Saturday, Jan. 13
Tennessee at New England, 8:15 p.m. (CBS)
Former Spartans playing: RT Jack Conklin (Titans), QB Brian Hoyer (Patriots)
DT Domata Peko – Denver Broncos (12th season)
Veteran defensive tackle recorded 43 stops in his first season with the Broncos . . . played in all 16 games, including one start . . . CAREER: Has recorded 554 career tackles and 19.5 sacks in his 12-year career . . . durable defensive lineman has played in 186 career games, including 169 starts.
RB Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers (fifth season)
Named first-team Associated Press All-Pro (flex position) . . . named second-team AP All-Pro as a running back . . . selected to the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career (2014, 2016, 2017) and a first-team All-Pro for the second time in his career (2014) . . . ranked third in the NFL in rushing with 1,291 yards on 321 carries and nine touchdowns while helping Pittsburgh win the AFC North title . . . added a career-high 85 receptions for 655 yards and two receiving TDs . . . led the AFC and ranked second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage (1,946; 129.7 ypg) . . . also finished first in the NFL in carries (321), tied for third in rushing TDs (9) and fourth in rushing yards per game (86.1) . . . named AFC Player of the Month in December for the second year in a row after averaging 142.3 yards from scrimmage per game . . . selected AFC Offensive Player of the Week following his 179-yard rushing performance vs. Kansas City in Week 6 . . . named FedEx Ground Player of the Week after recording 186 yards from scrimmage (144 rushing on 35 carries; 42 receiving on four catches) in Week 4 win over Baltimore . . . CAREER: Has rushed for 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns on 1,229 carries in 62 career games . . . set an NFL record for the fewest regular season games to reach 5,000 rushing yards and 2,500 receiving yards, accomplishing the feat in 59 games (previous record: Marcus Allen, 63 games) . . . tied Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson for reaching the 7,500 yards from scrimmage mark in just 59 games . . . has rushed for more than 1,200 yards in three of his five seasons in the NFL . . . is just the third Steeler to record back-to-back 1,200-yard rushing seasons (Willie Parker, Jerome Bettis) . . . is the first Steeler in franchise history to surpass 1,800 yards from scrimmage in consecutive years . . . since entering the NFL in 2013, Bell ranks first in yards from scrimmage per game with 129.0 (7,996 in 62 games) . . . already ranks among the Steelers all-time leaders in rushing touchdowns (tied for third with 35), 100-yard scrimmage games (third with 41), rushing yards (fourth with 5,336), 100-yard rushing games (fifth with 18), and yards from scrimmage (sixth with 7,996) . . . has 357 yards rushing and two TDs on 65 carries in three previous playoff games (119.0 ypg), all during last season’s run to the AFC Championship Game.
LB Darien Harris – Ottawa (rookie season)
Spent time on the Ottawa practice squad in 2017.