Week 3 of the NFL exhibition season is in the books as is the first major cutdown for NFL teams. Following Tuesday's manadatory cut to 75, there are 27 players with Connecticut connections – down two – that remain on NFL rosters. In the last few days the Redskins released LB Rob Jackson (West Haven), the Steelers waived WR Kashif Moore (UConn) and the Raiders waived injuerd RB Kory Sheets (Bloomfield). Of the 26 remain, one (OL Donald Thomas, West Haven, UConn) is injured and out for the season so there are 25 active.
Injuries made news for several other players, notably Sheets and LB Sio Moore (UConn) of the Raiders. Sheets suffered a season-ending injury after tearing his Achilles tendon vs. the Packers. Moore injured his neck in the same game and was taken off the field on a stretcher. That injury did not prove serious and he was released from the hospital in time to fly home with the team. Among the Week 3 notables were Redskins WR Nick Williams (UConn) and Texans TE Ryan Griffin (UConn) who both caught TD passes.
Final cuts are Friday at 4 p.m. when teams must get down to the league-required 53 players. How things fared for Connecticut's connections in Week 3 of the preseason:
BILLS - Marcus Easley, WR, UConn: Had no stats in game vs. Bucaneers and made one tackle on special teams.
BRONCOS - Terrance Knighton, DL, Windsor: Started at nose tackle and had no stats in game vs. Houston.
BUCCANEERS - Danny Lansanah, LB, UConn: Started at strong-side linebacker vs. Buffalo and had five tackles, including one for a loss.
CARDINALS - Matt Shaughnessy, DL, Norwich: Started and had one tackle for a loss vs. Cincinnati.
CHARGERS - Donald Brown, RB, UConn; Kendall Reyes, DL, UConn; and Dwight Freeney, DL, Bloomfield: Brown came off the bench and had five carrries for 13 yards and caught one pas for 5 yards in a loss to the 49ers. Reyes started at left defensive end and had one tackle and recovered a fumble. Freeney, easing way back after missing much of 2013 with a quadriceps injury, saw his first action of the preseason, coming off the bench and making a tackle for a loss.
CHIEFS - Anthony Sherman, FB, UConn; and Marcus Cooper, CB, Bloomfield: Cooper started at left cornerback and had one tackle in loss to Vikings. Sherman started and had one carry for 3 yards and one catch for 1 yard.
GIANTS - Will Beatty, OT, UConn: Started at left tackle vs. Jets.
JAGUARS - Dwayne Gratz, DB, UConn; and Jordan Todman, RB, UConn: Gratz started at LCB vs. Lions and had three tackles. Has started all three preseason games. Todman had five carries for 3 yards and caught three of four passes thrown his way for 32 yards.
RAIDERS - Tyvon Branch. SS, UConn; Sio Moore, LB, UConn; and Kory Sheets, RB, Bloomfield: Branch started at strong safety against the Packers and had five tackles. Moore started at linebacker and had two tackles before being injured. Sheets had two carries for 6 yards and caught two passes for 7 yards before suffering season-ending Achilles injury.
REDSKINS - Nick Williams, WR, UConn; Rob Jackson, LB, West Haven; Jordan Reed, TE, New London; and Chris Baker, DL, Windsor: Reed started at tight end vs. Baltimore and caught one pass for 7 yards. Baker started at left defensive end and had three tackles and one pass defenced. Williams came off the bench and caught a fourth-quarter TD for the second week in a row, a 7-yarder. He caught three passes total for 19 yards. Jackson came off the bench but had no stats. He was released on Sunday.
STEELERS - Kashif Moore, WR, UConn: Had one reception for 12 yards in win against Bills.
TEXANS - Ryan Griffin, UConn, TE: Caught all five passes thrown his way for 71 yards, including a 31-yard TD in the fourth quarter.
TITANS - Blidi Wreh-Wilson, DB, UConn: Came off the bench and had one tackle on defense and one on special teams.
VIKINGS - Shamar Stephen, DT, Vikings: Started at nose tackle vs. Kansas City and had three tackles.