Idaho Connections in the NFL: Dec. 22

December 22, 2013 

PETTIS GETS BACK IN THE MIX WITH THE RAMS

At the halfway point of the season, receiver Austin Pettis (Boise State) established a career high for reception yards (284), matched his career high for touchdowns (four), and was just three catches shy of his career high in receptions.

But then his production dropped off greatly. Over the next five games he was thrown to only 10 times with just three receptions.

Last Sunday, however, Pettis caught four passes for 41 yards — all in the first quarter.

“It was real nice to kind of get put back into the offense a little bit more,” Pettis told the St Louis Post-Dispatch. “Unfortunately, it’s because we had an injury with Tavon (Austin). But I’m just glad that I was able to come in and make some plays to help the team. … I know my role has definitely been up and down a lot this year. But just like the coaches have harped on, I’m just making sure that I’m always ready whenever that time comes.”

• Vikings defensive end Jared Allen (Idaho State) has a list of the all-time sack leaders hanging in his locker. But he doesn't need to look at it again to know he's one sack away from overtaking Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas for 13th all-time in NFL career sacks. With 126, Allen currently trails Thomas by half a sack.

“Passing Derrick Thomas means everything,” Allen said. “When I came into the league, when I got to Kansas City, he was obviously the iconic player at that time. His reputation as a legend kind of spoke for itself for what he did on the field.”

• Panthers safety Quintin Mikell (Boise State) has had at least five tackles the past three games. He collected one of the two sacks on Saints quarterback Drew Brees in the Week 14 meeting in New Orleans, forcing a fumble the Saints recovered.

• Rams receiver/returner Justin Veltung (Idaho) made his NFL debut last Sunday after being activated off St. Louis’ practice squad the day before. He had a 7-yard punt return.

Compiled by Chris Langrill

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