Florida Gators in the NFL: Six advance to 2015-16 Conference Championship games

The 2015-16 NFL season has been an exciting one for former Florida Gators in the league, and it will continue during Conference Championship game action next week with six Gators representing three of the four teams hoping for an opportunity to play in Super Bowl 50.

Overall, 11 former Florida players were on the rosters of teams that played in Divisional Round games over the weekend. That’s down from the 18 that started the postseason on NFL rosters as seven were eliminated in the Wild Card Round.

Below is a look at the Gators moving on to the next round and those that have fallen along the way. Teams and players in blue have advanced to the Conference Championships.

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Florida Gators in the NFL: 2015 — Weeks 2, 3

The 2015 NFL regular season continued in Weeks 2 and 3 with 38 former Florida Gators spread out over 21 of the 32 teams in the league.

Fifteen teams have multiple Florida players on their rosters entering the season including Denver and Pittsburgh (three each); Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Washington (two each).

Below are full updates on all the players on official NFL rosters.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators in the NFL: 2015 — Weeks 2, 3

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2015 — Week 1

The 2015 NFL regular season began this week with 38 former Florida Gators spread out over 21 of the 32 teams in the league.

Fifteen teams have multiple Florida players on their rosters entering the season including Denver and Pittsburgh (three each); Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Washington (two each).

Below are full updates on all the players on official NFL rosters.

Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2015 — Week 1

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Breakdown of 2015 preseason Weeks 3 and 4, cuts

The 2015 NFL preseason – and final cuts for teams – concluded Sunday with 38 former Florida Gators spread out over 21 of the 32 teams in the league.

Fifteen teams have multiple Florida players on their rosters entering the season including Denver and Pittsburgh (three each); Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Washington (two each).

Below are full updates on all the players that were on NFL rosters over the final two weeks of the preseason.

Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Breakdown of 2015 preseason Weeks 3 and 4, cuts

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Breakdown of 2015 preseason Weeks 1 and 2

The 2015 NFL preseason began two weeks ago with 48 former Florida Gators spread out over 23 of the 32 teams in the league.

Sixteen teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Denver, Miami, Philadelphia and Washington (four each); Pittsburgh (three); and Arizona, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Minnesota, Oakland, St. Louis and Tampa Bay (two each).

Below are full updates all 48 players on NFL rosters, most of whom saw action over the first two weeks of the preseason. There are also select injury and status updates on some other Gators below.

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed … after the break!

Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Breakdown of 2015 preseason Weeks 1 and 2

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4 NFL BITS: David Nelson signs with Steelers, Jaguars S Josh Evans gives inspirational speech

1 » Former Florida Gators wide receiver David Nelson – a five-year NFL veteran who had spent time in Buffalo, Cleveland and with the New York Jets – has been without a team since being waived by the Jets in mid-October after New York traded for his Florida teammate, WR Percy Harvin. On Wednesday, Nelson was finally picked up when the Pittsburgh Steelers signed him to a contract and reunited him with former Gators teammates center Maurkice Pouncey and right tackle Marcus Gilbert.

For Nelson, the Steelers signing comes nearly a month after he posted a deeply personal blog on his charity’s website. Asking, ‘Do I pursue my passion, or my heart?‘ Nelson explores how his i’mME charity changed his life but also made him a bit of an outsider in the NFL. “Since my release, there’s been hesitation to sign me to a contract, due largely to how I spend my free time [with my charity], even though it’s made me stronger – physically mentally, emotionally.” Nelson pointed out that “not one team” has said his talent was an issue; rather, “I’m hearing questions about my commitment because I’m outspoken about my nonprofit, and I do a lot to make it successful.”

Continue Reading » 4 NFL BITS: David Nelson signs with Steelers, Jaguars S Josh Evans gives inspirational speech

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6 BITS: Matt Elam suffers season-ending injury, Florida QB Will Grier has gained 24 lbs. since 2014

1 » Former Florida Gators safety Matt Elam struggled during his second season with the Baltimore Ravens in 2014. Looking to bounce back and regain his starting role this season, Elam may be faced with an even greater obstacle to overcome. According to The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson, Elam “may have torn his biceps” and was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Sunday to determine whether he has indeed suffered a season-ending injury. A completely torn biceps would sideline Elam for the season; a partial tear would likely put him on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list for the start of the campaign, though his return would still be questionable. Elam has been fighting with fellow former Florida safety Will Hill for the starting strong safety job; Hill supplanted Elam at the position during the 2014 campaign.

Update: ESPN‘s Ed Werder confirmed Tuesday that Elam’s injury is indeed a full tear of his biceps; Elam will therefore miss the entire 2015 season. He will be placed on the Ravens’ injured reserve and look to rejoin the team in 2016.

Continue Reading » 6 BITS: Matt Elam suffers season-ending injury, Florida QB Will Grier has gained 24 lbs. since 2014

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FOUR BITS: Former Gators safeties Matt Elam, Will Hill fighting for Ravens starting job

1 » The Baltimore Ravens pulled former first-round draft choice Matt Elam out of their starting rotation after Elam began disappointing with his play on the field. Elam shifting out allowed fellow former Florida Gators safety Will Hill to fill the void and has subsequently created a high-intensity training camp competition between the two teammates.

Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh, who stuck by Hill despite him being suspended for the first six games of the 2014 campaign due to a third NFL drug policy violation, is impressed with what he’s seen from the undrafted free agent. “I almost say [he’s] light-years ahead of where he was last year,” Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun. “He has been here every single day in the offseason that I’m aware of. Heck, he brought his family in here to work out with him when he was on his own. … I just think he has really dug in to have a great season, and we’ll see how it goes for him. But right now, he looks the part.” Elam is taking the competition in stride and remains confident he will be able to regain the job. “All I can say is, I can’t wait until September. I’m ready,” Elam said.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Former Gators safeties Matt Elam, Will Hill fighting for Ravens starting job

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