Sept. 23, 2013
Julio Jones continued his string of stellar performances, while one former Alabama defender made waves in his pro debut and a former Tide running back made his debut on a new team in the third week of the NFL regular season.
Rookie safety Robert Lester, who was moved from Carolina's practice squad to the active roster earlier in the week after a rash of injuries to the Panthers' secondary, earned a starting spot for Sunday's matchup with the New York Giants. Lester, who signed with Carolina in April as an undrafted free agent, responded with five tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery as Carolina shut out the Giants 38-0 for the Panthers' first win of the season.
Trent Richardson made his debut as an Indianapolis Colt after the Cleveland Browns traded him last week for a 2014 first round draft pick. The second-year running back quickly made an impact on his new team. Richardson reached the end zone for the first time this season on his first carry and finished with 13 carries for 35 yards in the Colts' 27-7 victory at San Francisco.
As Lester and Richardson found new roles, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones continued his routine of terrorizing opposing defensive backs. Jones had his second consecutive 100-yard performance Sunday as he caught nine passes for 115 yards in Atlanta's 27-23 loss to Miami. The Foley, Ala., native currently leads the National Football League in receiving yards with 373 and is tied for the top spot in total receptions with 27 in three games.
Tampa Bay safety Mark Barron recorded 11 tackles and a half of a sack and intercepted a Tom Brady pass in the end zone in a losing effort against New England. Cincinnati defensive end Wallace Gilberry tallied three tackles, a quarterback hurry and a half of a sack in a 34-30 win over the Green Bay Packers, who played without former Tide tailback Eddie Lacy (concussion). Philadelphia linebacker DeMeco Ryans notched seven tackles in the Eagles' 26-16 loss to Kansas City Thursday.