By Jay Skurski
Our weekly rundown on the Press Coverage blog of the players from Western New York (along with the University at Buffalo) currently in the NFL:
Steven Means: The Buffalo native and Grover Cleveland and University at Buffalo product -- a rookie defensive end with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- was inactive for his team's 27-6 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Mike Williams: The Tampa Bay receiver -- a Buffalo native and Riverside product -- finished his season with 22 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns. He was placed on injured reserve because of a torn hamstring on Oct. 28.
James Starks: The Green Bay Packers running back, a Niagara Falls and University at Buffalo product, carried just two times for 2 yards in a 40-10 blowout loss to the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving day. Starks played seven offensive snaps (16 percent) and another three on special teams (11 percent).
J.C. Tretter: The Akron product, a fourth-round draft pick of the Packers in April, is on the team’s physically unable to perform list after he broke his ankle in May. He practiced for the first time Nov. 20, and the team has until Dec. 11 to either activate him to the 53-man roster, or place him on injured reserve.
Rob Gronkowski: Gronkowski had six catches for 127 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots' 34-31 victory against the Houston Texans. Gronk took 63 of 70 offensive snaps (90 percent) for New England.
Brett Kern: The Grand Island native punted six times for 222 yards for the Tennessee Titans in a 22-14 loss at Indianapolis. He had a net average of just 32.2 yards on the punts, but four of the six were downed inside the Colts' 20-yard line. The three punts that were returned went for a total of 29 yards.
Corey Graham: The Baltimore Ravens' cornerback, a Buffalo native and Turner/Carroll product, made eight tackles on defense and another on special teams in a 22-20 victory over Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving night. Graham also defended one pass. He played a lot, getting 56 defensive snaps (85 percent) and another 12 on special teams (48 percent).
Note: Local players Dan Gronkowski, Chris Gronkowski, Jeremy Kelley, Naaman Roosevelt and Doug Worthington are currently free agents, as is UB graduate Trevor Scott.
Josh Thomas: Thomas, a cornerback, played 13 special teams snaps (54 percent) for Carolina in a 27-6 victory over Tampa Bay. He did not play defensively.