Vigor’s Darius Philon makes final Raiders roster


18 local players set to play in the N.F.L. this season

(WKRG) — After spending two years out of football, Vigor’s Darius Philon has made the Las Vegas Raiders 53-man roster.

Tuesday was cutdown day in the NFL. After reducing their rosters to 53 players, teams can now start signing players to their 16-man practice squads. 

Philon played four seasons with the San Diego and then Los Angeles Chargers from 2015 through 2018 before signing as a free agent prior to the 2019 season with the Arizona Cardinals. In August of that year, however, Philon was released after he was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. Those criminal charges were later dropped.

Philon was signed by the Raiders and was impressive in preseason, so much so that he could see significant time at defensive tackle.

Another local player making a comeback is Damarious Randall who has secured a spot with the Seattle Seahawks. Randall played six seasons with the Packers and Browns before being released prior to last season by the Raiders.

Former Pensacola Catholic and South Alabama star Jeremy Reaves was released Tuesday by Washington. The cornerback has also played in the NFL with Philadelphia.

Running back Alfred Morris of Pine Forest High was released by the New York Giants earlier this summer, likely ending a nine-year career that saw him play for five NFL teams and score 36 touchdowns. Another local running back, Ito Smith of Mobile, was released by both Arizona and Minnesota this month. The former McGill-Toolen star spent the last three seasons with Atlanta.

Veteran Ryan Anderson, who joined the Giants this year after four seasons in Washington, will miss the first six games of the season after being suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s Policy and Program on Performance Enhancing Substances. 

Two local rookies made NFL rosters. Wide receiver Kadarius Toney of Blount and Florida was a first round pick of the Giants. Running back Michael Carter of Navarre and North Carolina was a fourth round pick of the New York Jets.

Two veteran players return to action this year after skipping the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns: Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley of Theodore, and Vikings defensive tackle Michael Pierce of Daphne.

Mobile’s A.J. McCarron will spend the season on injured reserve after suffering a knee injury during the preseason. The former St. Paul’s star was on track to be the Atlanta Falcons backup quarterback.

More than three years after leaving the University of Minnesota, Pace grad Ryan Santoso has made the Carolina Panthers as a kicker after failing on several attempts to make it in the NFL as a punter.

Local players on NFL Rosters

Ryan AndersonDEWashington DaphneAlabama
Michael CarterRBN.Y. JetsNavarreNo. Carolina
Graham GanoKN.Y. GiantsTateFlorida St.
Tytus HowardTHoustonMonroe CountyAlabama St.
Rodney HudsonCLas VegasB.C. RainFlorida St.
Bryce HuffDEN.Y. JetsSt. Paul’s Memphis
Julio JonesWRTennesseeFoleyAlabama
A.J. McCarronQBAtlantaSt. Paul’sAlabama
C.J. MosleyLBN.Y. JetsTheodoreAlabama
La’Mical PerineRBN.Y. JetsTheodoreFlorida
Darius PhilonDTLas VegasVigorArkansas
Michael PierceDTMinnesotaDaphneSamford
Demarious RandallCBSeattlePensacolaArizona St.
Ryan SantosoKCarolinaPaceMinnesota
Taylor StallworthDTIndianapolisMurphySo. Carolina
Jaquiski TarttSSan FranciscoDavidsonSamford
Kadarius ToneyWRN.Y. GiantsBlountFlorida
Jimmie WardSSan FranciscoDavidsonNorthern Illinois

Two local players are currently playing in the Canadian Football League. Cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy and wide receiver Sammie Coates both play for Saskatchewan. Purifoy played at Pine Forest, then Florida. Coates prepped at Leroy before playing at Auburn and then in the NFL with Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Houston.

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