UConn In The NFL: Former Huskies contributing to teams pushing for the playoffs

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) is tackled by Dallas Cowboys free safety Byron Jones (31) and Brandon Carr (39) during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. (Don Wright/AP Photo)

As the NFL season is beginning its second half of the regular season and teams are starting to make a push for the playoffs, there are several UConn alumni making major contributions for their respective teams.

Second-year free safety Byron Jones of the Dallas Cowboys had the game of his career in a tight 35-30 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He led the team in tackles with 12, which was a career-high for him. He also deflected a pass when the Steelers went for a two-point conversion. With the win, the Cowboys now have a sizeable lead in the NFC East and now have the best record in the NFL.

Jones believed that he should have had a fumble recovery for a touchdown after he forced Le’Veon Bell to fumble the ball. The ball ultimately slipped through his hands and went out of bounds.

“Man, extremely frustrating because there was nobody around me. I felt if I scooped the ball, I would have scored, and it would have been for the entire team. Just let that one get through my fingers,” Jones told star-telegram.com about the play.

Fourth-year tight end Ryan Griffin of the Houston Texans is projected to have the best year of his career with a team that leads their division. On Sunday, he caught three passes for seven yards and his first touchdown of the season in a 24-21 win over division rival Jacksonville. He has already passed his season high of 20 catches in a season and now sits just 30 yards and two touchdowns away from having the best statistical season of his career.

Shamar Stephen has started every game this season for the Minnesota Vikings, who have allowed the third-least number of offensive yards per game in the NFL this season. Last Sunday, Stephen had a good game despite the Vikings losing their fourth straight game to the Washington Redskins by a 26-20 score. He recorded five total tackles, two solo and three assisted.


Matt Fontaine is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus, covering lacrosse. He can be reached via email at matthew.fontaine@uconn.edu.