Fourteen former University of Arizona players will suit up -- mostly -- for National Football League openers, with most of them slated for starting duty on 12 different teams.
The surprise, by some standards, is Denver Broncos' rookie running back Mike Bell, who might be slated for the starting nod Sunday against St. Louis. Bell was an undrafted free agent signee who's played well in camp, enough to challenge for the top role in an experienced backfield.
All-Pro linebacker Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears, cornerback Chris McAlister and offensive guard Edwin Mulitalo of the Baltimore Ravens, receiver Dennis Northcutt of the Cleveland Browns, linebacker Antonio Pierce of the New York Giants, defensive tackle Joe Salave'a of the Washington Redskins, inside linebacker DaShon Polk of the Houston Texans and punter Josh Miller of the New England Patriots all are listed as probable starters.
Linebacker Tedy Bruschi of the Patriots is likely out with a wrist injury but is atop the Patrios' depth chart at inside
|Tedy Bruschi, New England (AP)|
Bobby Wade of the Tennessee Titans is the top kickoff returner and a backup receiver, defensive end Joe Tafoya of the Seattle Seahawks enters the year as a listed backup, as does tight end Brandon Manumaleuna of the San Diego Chargers.
On Sunday, Briggs' Bears will play at Green Bay, the pair of former Wildcats on the Ravens travel to Tampa Bay, Wade's Titans play host to the Jets, Polk's Texans play host to the Eagles, Tafoya and the Seahawks travel to Detroit, and Pierce will patrol the middle for the Giants at home against Indianapolis. On Monday night, Salave'a Redkins are home against Minnesota and Manumaleuna and the Chargers visit Oakland.