Updated, Gators in NFL: Powell shines for Lions, Falcons cut Manuel loose

Detroit Lions' Brandon Powell catches a pass during the first half Sunday against the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Rookie Brandon Powell made the most of his first career start with the Detroit Lions on Sunday, catching  six passes for 103 yards in the 31-0 win at Green Bay.

“Just to have a game like this is going to be one I’m going to look back to for the rest of my life,” said Powell, who was an undrafted free agent out of UF. “My first start, 100 yards against the Green Bay Packers. It’s going to be one of those games that’s going to be on my wall, my kids are going to watch it. It was a great experience for me.”

Update: The  Lions announced Wednesday they have signed running back Mark Thompson to a Reserve-Future contract.

Thompson recently spent time as a member of the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens practice squads in 2018. He was a 2018 undrafted free agent with Baltimore out of the University of Florida.

It wasn’t a good finish to the regular season for another former UF standout, however. Atlanta defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel was among three assistants fired on Monday by coach Dan Quinn (former UF defensive coordinator) announced the firings and said he will take over the defense.

“All three of these men are excellent coaches that I have a lot of respect for,” Quinn said in a statement released by the team. “While these are difficult decisions, we know we have a group of players here we are excited about and in order for us to consistently play true to our identity in all three phases we thought we needed some changes.”

Manuel came to Atlanta with Quinn from Seattle in 2015 as secondary coach and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2017.

“Marquand is a talented coach and excellent teacher that I have coached with for a number of years,” Quinn said. “I believe he should have the opportunity to call plays for a defense, so we have decided to allow his contract to expire so he can explore those opportunities.”

Compiled by Chad Smith of UF Sports Information Dept.:

Arizona Cardinals (Seahawks 27, Cardinals 24)
D.J. Humphries – OL – 4th year – (IR)

Atlanta Falcons (Falcons 34, Buccaneers 32)
Brian Poole – CB – 3rd year – Finished with four tackles, three solo.
Keanu Neal – S – 3rd year – (IR)

Buffalo Bills (Bills 42, Dolphins 17)
Deonte Thompson – WR – 6th year – Inactive for week 17. 

Carolina Panthers (Panthers 33, Saints 14)
Bryan Cox Jr. – DE – 2nd year – Appeared in the game, did not record any stats.

Chicago Bears (Bears 24, Vikings 10)
Trey Burton – TE – 5th year – Started at tight end for the 15th straight week. Hauled in five passes for 33 yards.
Jonathan Bullard – DE – 3rd year – Appeared in the game, did not record any stats.

Cincinnati Bengals (Steelers 16, Bengals 13)
Carlos Dunlap – DE – 9th year – Started at defensive end for the 16th straight week. Finished with three quarterback hits.

Cleveland Browns (Ravens 26, Browns 24)

Antonio Callaway – WR – Rookie – Started at wide receiver. Recorded 79 yards on four catches and a touchdown. Tallied 46 punt-return yards on three returns and 79 yards on three kickoffs.

Denver Broncos (Chargers 23, Broncos 9)
Max Garcia – G – 4th year – (IR)

Detroit Lions (Lions 32, Packers 0)
Jarrad Davis – LB – 2nd year – Started for the 16th straight week. Led the team with seven tackles, five solo, including two tackles for a loss and a sack. Added one quarterback hit and a pass defense.
Brandon Powell – WR – Rookie – Made his first career start. Collected a game-high and a career-high with 103 yards receiving on six receptions including a long of 41 yards.
Teez Tabor – CB – 2nd year – Finished second on the team with five tackles, all solo. Added a tackle on special teams.

Mark Thompson – RB – Rookie – Signed Reserve-Future contract Wednesday.

Green Bay Packers (Lions 32, Packers 0)
Antonio Morrison – LB – 3rd year – Collected six tackles, five solo, including two tackles for a loss.

Indianapolis Colts (Colts 33, Titans 17)
Quincy Wilson – CB – 2nd year – Started at cornerback for the second straight week. Tallied one solo tackle.

Jacksonville Jaguars (Texans 20, Jaguars 3)
Taven Bryan – DT – Rookie – Notched a solo tackle, which was a sack, and added a quarterback hit.
Lerentee McCray – LB – 5th year – Collected two assisted tackles on special teams.

Kansas City Chiefs (Chiefs 35, Raiders 3)
Demarcus Robinson – WR – 3rd year – Started at wide receiver for the third straight week. Recorded one catch, which was an 89-yard touchdown.
Joey Ivie – DL – 2nd year – (Practice squad)

Los Angeles Chargers (Chargers 23, Broncos 9)
Mike Pouncey – C – 8th year – Started at center for the 16th straight week.
Jaylen Watkins – DB – 4th year – (IR)

Los Angeles Rams (Rams 48, 49ers 32)
Dante Fowler Jr. – DE – 4th year – Started for the sixth straight week at weak inside linebacker. Tallied four solo tackles and a quarterback hit.
Dominique Easley – DT – 5th year – (IR)

New England Patriots (Patriots 38, Jets 3)
Trent Brown – OL – 4th year – Started at left tackle for the 15th straight week.
Duke Dawson, Jr. – DB – Rookie – Inactive for week 17.

New Orleans Saints (Panthers 33, Saints 14)
Alex Anzalone – LB – 2nd year – Started at middle linebacker. Led the team with seven tackles, five solo.

New York Giants (Cowboys 36, Giants 35)
Jon Halapio – OL – 2nd year – (IR)

New York Jets (Patriots 38, Jets 3)
Jonotthan Harrison – OL – 5th year – Started at left guard, making his seventh consecutive start on the offensive line.
Marcus Maye – S – 2nd year – (IR)

Oakland Raiders (Chiefs 35, Raiders 3)
Johnny Townsend – P – Rookie – Punted four times for 182 yards, including a long of 56. Pinned the Chiefs inside the 20-yardline twice.
David Sharpe – OL – 2nd year – Appeared on the offensive line.
Chaz Green – OL – 4th – Appeared on the offensive line.
Reggie Nelson – S – 12th year – (IR)
Eddy Piñeiro – K – Rookie – (IR)

Pittsburgh Steelers (Steelers 16, Bengals 13)
Jon Bostic – LB – 6th year – Appeared in the game, did not record any stats.
Maurkice Pouncey – C – 9th year – Started at center for the 16th straight week.
Joe Haden – CB – 9th year – Started at cornerback for the 14th straight week. Collected one tackle.
Marcus Gilbert – OT – 8th year – (IR)
Jake McGee – TE – 2nd year – (IR)

San Francisco 49ers (Rams 48, 49ers 32)
Marcell Harris – S – Rookie – Started at strong safety for the fifth straight week. Finished with six tackles, two solo, including a tackle for a loss.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Falcons 34, Buccaneers 32)
Vernon Hargreaves III – CB – 3rd year – (IR)

Washington Redskins (Eagles 24, Redskins 0)
Caleb Brantley – DT – 2nd year – Collected a solo tackle.
Jordan Reed – TE – 6th year – (IR)
Quinton Dunbar – CB – 4th year – (IR)


  1. Good show Gators!!! Good to see Brandon Powell, Trey Burton, Antonio Callaway, Jarrad Davis, Teez Tabor, Antonio Morrison, DeMarcus Robinson, Alex Anzalone, Johnny Townsend, Marcell Harris, and all the OL-men who didn’t record any stats having a great week. I may start watching the Lions more.