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Four Blue Raiders make NFL rosters

Cunningham overcomes knee injury to earn spot with Rams

August 31, 2013 · @MTAthletics

Four former Middle Tennessee standouts made NFL rosters on Saturday, as teams trimmed their squads to 53 in anticipation for the start of the 2013 regular season.

Jamari Lattimore (Green Bay), Phillip Tanner (Dallas) and Erik Walden (Indianapolis) all remained on their team's 53-man rosters, while rookie Benny Cunningham earned a spot with the St. Louis Rams.

Cunningham didn't let his dreams of reaching the NFL deter him after suffering a season-ending knee injury during his senior campaign last year. The Nashville native rehabbed this spring before signing an undrafted rookie contract with St. Louis. During the preseason, he led the Rams in rushing with 123 yards on 20 carries for 6.1 yards per run. Cunningham makes his potential regular season NFL debut against the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday, Sept. 8 in a 3:25 p.m. CT contest.

Lattimore begins his third year with Green Bay and was named a playoff captain for the Packers in 2012. He spent his first season as an outside linebacker before transitioning to the inside slot last year. The Miami, Fla., product saw action in 14 games and snagged seven tackles as a key cog on Green Bay's special teams front. The Packers open the season at San Francisco.

Also developing a role on special teams has been Tanner. The Dallas Cowboy logged 14 games last season. In the most recent preseason game against Houston, Tanner carried the pigskin six times for 35 yards. Dallas is set to host the New York Giants in the first regular season Sunday Night Football game on NBC next week.

A move to Indianapolis marks the fourth NFL team for Walden. The linebacker spent the past three seasons with Green Bay before being released this past spring. He later inked an unrestricted free agent contract with the Colts. Last season, Walden snagged 46 tackles and three sacks in 15 games. The Colts host the Raiders in a Noon CT affair next Sunday.

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