Commodores Kick Off NFL Season

Vanderbilt well-represented across league

by Chad Bishop

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The 2020 National Football League season begins Thursday when the Houston Texans play at the Kansas Chiefs.

Vanderbilt will be well-represented, not only during that game, but throughout the course of the campaign with 12 Commodores being on active rosters to start the season.

Here’s a closer look at some of the former Vandy standouts expected to have impactful seasons in 2020. The full list of Commodores currently on NFL rosters can be found HERE.

Cunningham, Texans showcased in opener

Linebacker Zach Cunningham is beginning his fourth season with the Houston Texans. Cunningham recently signed a contract extension worth $14.5 million per year.

A 6-foot-3, 238-pound product of Pinson, Alabama, Cunningham made a career high 137 tackles in 2019. He also had seven tackles for a loss, recovered two fumbles and made two sacks.

Cunningham and the Texans are scheduled to play at the Kansas City Chiefs at 6:20 p.m. Thursday on NBC.



Covering Cornerbacks

Two former Vandy cornerbacks are poised to have stellar seasons for their respective clubs.

Casey Hayward and the Los Angeles Chargers will be in Cincinnati on Sunday and Tre Herndon and the Jacksonville Jaguars will play host to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.





The veteran Hayward will be beginning his ninth season in the NFL and fourth with the Chargers. The Perry, Georgia, product has had three straight seasons of making all 16 starts for Los Angeles and has six interceptions during that span.

Herndon, from Detroit, Michigan, is starting his third season with Jacksonville. He made three interceptions in 2019 and solidified himself as a starter going into 2020.



Monday Night Lights

A pair of former Commodores will be on the big stage Monday during an NFL doubleheader on ESPN.

Khari Blasingame will suit up at 9:20 p.m. when the Tennessee Titans travel to Denver. At 6:10 p.m. that evening, Spencer Pulley and the New York Giants will host the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Blasingame is beginning his second season with the Titans while Pulley is starting his fifth professional season and third with New York.

Chad Bishop covers Vanderbilt for Follow him @MrChadBishop.