Gophers in the Pros - Week 16

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Vikings' cornerback and return specialist Marcus Sherels certainly had the best game of any former Gopher this weekend. He was the only former player to walk away with a win on this Christmas weekend.

Sherels contributed four tackles (two solo, two assisted) to the Vikings' defense on Saturday against the Washington Redskins. He also returned four kickoffs for a total of 98 yards with a game-long of 30, as well as one punt return.

Minnesota scored touchdowns on three of the four drives set up by Sherels' kickoff returns.

Despite suffering a season-ending knee injury to star player Adrian Peterson and losing quarterback Christian Ponder to a possible concussion, the Vikings were able to come away with a victory. They beat the Redskins 33-26, securing their third win of the season.

Sherels and the Vikings play their final game of the season this Sunday at home against the Chicago Bears.

Here's a look at the performance of other Gophers in the National Football League:

  • Eric Decker, wide receiver for the Denver Broncos, was active but did not record any catches in the Broncos' 40-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Decker was targeted four times and has just 80 yards on six receptions over the last four games. The Broncos can still clinch a playoff spot with a win next week over the Chiefs.
  • San Diego Chargers' linebacker Nate Triplett was active but did not record any statistics in Saturday's game against the Detroit Lions. Detroit beat San Diego 38-10 and eliminated the Chargers from playoff contention.
  • Matt Spaeth, tight end for the Bears, was active but did not record any statistics in the Bears' 35-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
  • Running back Marion Barber, also with the Chicago Bears, was inactive with a calf injury. Chicago's loss takes them out of the playoff hunt.
  • Safety Dominique Barber is on the Houston Texans' injured reserve list with a knee injury. The Texans lost to the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night 19-16.
  • Logan Payne, wide receiver for the New York Jets, is also on injured reserve while he recovers from wrist surgery. The Jets fell to the in-state rival Giants 29-14.
  • In addition to those who were on active rosters, five former Gopher players spent week 16 of the NFL season on the practice squad for their respective teams. Offensive lineman Dominic Alford is on the practice squad for the Cleveland Browns, cornerback Traye Simmons is with the San Diego Chargers, last year's quarterback Adam Weber is with the Denver Broncos, and fullback Jon Hoese recently signed to practice with the Green Bay Packers. Also, defensive end Cedric McKinley was signed to the New England Patriots' practice squad last week.

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