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NFL locals tracker, Week 16: Former Utah State, West Jordan TE Tialavea scores TD in first NFL game

D.J. Tialavea waited nearly three years to make his NFL debut, but he made the most of it Saturday in Atlanta’s 33-16 win over Carolina.

Tialavea, the former Utah State tight end and a West Jordan High grad, has spent the past three years with three different teams and reached no higher than the practice squad at the NFL level. On Thursday, though, the Falcons elevated him to the active roster.

He made an impact in the second quarter, catching a 1-yard touchdown pass from Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan to give the Falcons a 20-3 lead. It came on a third-down play and capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive.

Tialavea played 11 offensive snaps and four on special teams. He tweeted his thanks before and after the game and mentioned that his family flew out for Tialavea’s first NFL regular-season action.

https://twitter.com/DjTialavea_86/status/812789211921260544

Here’s a look at how the other players with Utah ties performed in the NFL in Week 16:


EAGLES 24, GIANTS 19

Philadelphia

On practice squad: Anthony Denham, TE, Utah

N.Y. Giants

On injured reserve: Uani ‘Unga, MLB, BYU


DOLPHINS 34, BILLS 31

Miami

John Denney, LS, BYU: Played 12 special teams snaps.

Trevor Reilly, LB, Utah: Had a special teams tackle on 11 special teams snaps in his first game with the Dolphins.

On injured reserve: Koa Misi, LB, Utah


FALCONS 33, PANTHERS 16

Atlanta

D.J. Tialavea, TE, Utah State and West Jordan High: See above.

On injured reserve: Derrick Shelby, DE, Utah

Carolina

Tyler Larsen, G, Utah State and Jordan High: Started at center for the fourth straight game and played all 69 Panther offensive snaps and four on special teams.

Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah, Snow College and Bingham High: Started at defensive tackle and had two solo tackles and a tackle for loss while playing 43 defensive snaps and eight on special teams.

Jared Norris, LB, Utah: Played 18 special teams snaps.

Paul Soliai, DT, Utah: Played 19 defensive snaps.


REDSKINS 41, BEARS 21

Washington

Zach Vigil, LB, Utah State and Clearfield High: Played one defensive snap and 15 special teams snaps.

On practice squad: Kendal Thompson, WR, Utah

Chicago

Paul Lasike, RB/FB, BYU: Not active for game.

Patrick Scales, LS, Utah State and Weber High: Played six special teams snaps.

On practice squad: Dres Anderson, WR, Utah


BROWNS 20, CHARGERS 17

Cleveland

Stephen Paea, DT, Snow College and Timpview High: Not active for game.

On injured reserve: Nate Orchard, OLB, Utah and Highland High

On practice squad: Jordan Leslie, WR, BYU

San Diego

On reserve/suspended by commissioner list: Tenny Palepoi, DT, Utah, Snow College and Skyline High


PACKERS 38, VIKINGS 25

Green Bay

Marwin Evans, S, Utah State: Played two defensive snaps and 18 special teams snaps.

Kyler Fackrell, OLB, Utah State: Played nine defensive snaps and 28 special teams snaps.

Minnesota

Matt Asiata, RB, Utah, Snow College and Hunter High: Had six carries for 34 yards and three receptions for 30 yards while playing 25 offensive snaps and 14 on special teams.


JAGUARS 38, TITANS 17

Jacksonville

On injured reserve: Jeremiah Poutasi, G/T, Utah

Tennessee

Brice McCain, CB, Utah: Started at cornerback and had five tackles, including four solo stops and a tackle for loss while playing 71 defensive snaps, the most on the team.

LeShaun Sims, CB, Southern Utah: Sims, a rookie, made his first start for the Titans at cornerback and had four tackles, including three solo tackles and a special teams tackle. He played 49 snaps on defense and 14 on special teams.


PATRIOTS 41, JETS 3

New England Patriots

Eric Rowe, CB, Utah: Rowe started at cornerback and had his first interception of the season, picking off a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass at the New England 46 in the second quarter that led to a touchdown four plays later. He also had three tackles, including a solo stop, and two pass deflections while playing 49 defensive snaps, tied for most on the team.

Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU: Started at linebacker and had seven tackles, the second-most on the team, including one solo stop. That included a stop for no gain on a third-and-1 and a tackle for loss while playing 45 defensive snaps and six on special teams.


RAIDERS 33, COLTS 25

Oakland

James Cowser, LB/DE, Southern Utah and Davis High: Had a solo tackle while playing nine defensive snaps and 10 on special teams.

Keith McGill, DB, Utah: Was named a captain for the Raiders and had two special teams tackles while playing 16 special teams snaps.

Donald Penn, T, Utah State: Started at left tackle and played all 76 Raiders offensive snaps and five on special teams.

Sean Smith, CB, Utah: Started at cornerback and had a solo tackle while playing all 55 Raiders defensive snaps.

Indianapolis

Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State: Turbin scored on a 3-yard pass from Andrew Luck in the third quarter, his third touchdown in the past two weeks and seventh of the season. He had six carries for 18 yards and two receptions for 11 yards while playing 26 offensive snaps and eight on special teams.


49ERS 22, RAMS 21

San Francisco

Zane Beadles, OL, Utah and Hillcrest High: Started at left guard and played all 75 49ers offensive snaps.

Los Angeles

Maurice Alexander, S, Utah State: Not active for game after suffering a concussion two weeks earlier.


SAINTS 31, BUCCANEERS 24

New Orleans

Paul Kruger, DE, Utah and Timpanogos High: Started at defensive end and had two solo tackles and a tackle for loss while playing 29 defensive snaps and four on special teams.

Tampa Bay

Sealver Siliga, DT, Utah and Copper Hills High: Played 20 defensive snaps and one on special teams.


CARDINALS 34, SEAHAWKS 31

Arizona

Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State: Had one reception for 6 yards and a special teams tackle while playing two offensive snaps and 19 special teams snaps.

On injured reserve: Alani Fua, ILB, BYU

Seattle

Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State: Started at middle linebacker and had a team-leading 10 tackles, including a solo stop, while playing all 60 Seahawk defensive snaps and seven on special teams. He leads the NFL with 155 tackles, 15 more than the No. 2 tackler in the NFL and the most in a single season for Wagner.

On injured reserve: Will Tukuafu, FB, East High


TEXANS 12, BENGALS 10

Houston

Tony Bergstrom, C, Utah and Skyline High: Played three special teams snaps.

Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, Timpview High: Started at left guard and played all 64 Texans offensive snaps.

Cincinnati

Nick Vigil, ILB, Utah State and Fremont High: Had two solo tackles while playing 20 defensive snaps and 22 on special teams.


STEELERS 31, RAVENS 27

Baltimore

Dennis Pitta, TE, BYU: Started at tight end and had a team-leading eight receptions for 75 yards to go along with a Ravens-best 11 targets. He also had a tackle following an interception thrown by Baltimore’s Joe Flacco and played 58 offensive snaps.

Steve Smith Sr., WR, Utah: Smith started at wide receiver and caught an 18-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, his fifth TD of the season. He also caught a two-point conversion on the ensuing conversion attempt. Smith finished with seven receptions for a team-high 79 yards while playing 61 offensive snaps.

Eric Weddle, SS, Utah: Started at strong safety and had four tackles, including two solo stops, and a pass deflection while playing all 58 Ravens defensive snaps.

On injured reserve: Bronson Kaufusi, DE, BYU and Timpview High; De’Ondre Wesley, OT, BYU

On practice squad: Robertson Daniel, CB, BYU


CHIEFS 33, BRONCOS 10

Kansas City

Alex Smith, QB, Utah: Smith had a big day in both the rushing and passing games, running for 46 yards and a 10-yard touchdown in the first quarter. He threw for 244 yards, one touchdown and an interception on 25 of 36 passes and had a QB rating of 85.9 while playing 75 offensive snaps.

Daniel Sorensen, DB, BYU: Sorensen had two fumble recoveries in the second half of the win, while adding three tackles and a tackle for loss. The first fumble recovery came on a Broncos kickoff return and led to a Kansas City field goal. On the second, Sorensen forced Devontae Booker to fumble the ball and recovered at the Chiefs 41 on a third-and-8 play. That led to a Chiefs touchdown. Sorensen played 44 defensive snaps and 24 special teams snaps.

On practice squad: Jordan Devey, OL, American Fork High and Snow College

Denver

Devontae Booker, RB, Utah: Had five carries for a team-high 27 yards and six receptions for 44 yards — both team highs — but also lost a fumble in the fourth quarter. He played 33 offensive snaps.

On injured reserve: Kapri Bibbs, RB, Snow College; Sam Brenner, C, Utah


COWBOYS 42, LIONS 21

Detroit

Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU: Ansah started at defensive end and had his best game of the season, tying for the team lead with seven tackles, including four solo stops. He also had his second sack of the season, taking down Dallas’ Dak Prescott for an 11-yard loss in the second quarter. Ansah also had two tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry while playing 36 defensive snaps and one on special teams.

Miles Killebrew, SS, Southern Utah: Had a special teams tackle while playing six defensive snaps and 24 special teams snaps.

Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State: Started at cornerback and had three tackles, including two solo stops, while playing 56 defensive snaps and seven on special teams.

Haloti Ngata, DT, Highland High: Started at defensive tackle and had two tackles, including a solo stop, while playing 37 defensive snaps and eight special teams snaps.

Comings and goings

On Thursday, tight end D.J. Tialavea (Utah State and West Jordan High) was elevated to the Falcons’ active roster from the team’s practice squad.

Total locals on rosters (as of Tuesday, Dec. 27): 60, 42 on active rosters, six on practice squads, 11 on injured reserve and one on reserve/suspended by commissioner list.