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South Carolina’s pro players set for NFL season to begin

Who made it on to the roster and who didn’t as the season gets underway on Thursday.

Wide receiver Bruce Ellington is back on an NFL roster after a tumultuous preseason.
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The largely meaningless NFL preseason is finally over, and teams have whittled their rosters down to the required 53-man limit. Several Gamecocks were in the mix, so here’s a quick rundown of how the dust settled:

ON THE ROSTER (NO SURPRISES HERE)

WR Alshon Jeffery (Eagles)

DB Stephon Gilmore (Patriots)

DE Melvin Ingram (Chargers)

DE/LB Jadeveon Clowney (Texans)

DB Captain Munnerlyn (Panthers)

DB Darian Stewart (Broncos)

DB D.J. Swearinger (Redskins)

TE Jared Cook (Raiders)

FB Patrick DiMarco (Bills)

DB Johnathan Joseph (Texans)

K Ryan Succop (Titans)

OL Brandon Shell (Jets)

OL A.J. Cann (Jaguars)

OL T.J. Johnson (Bengals)

OL Corey Robinson (Lions)

ON THE ROSTER (HE MADE IT!)

After a couple seasons of plugging away on the practice squad, receiver Damiere Byrd is finally a Panther.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

WR Bruce Ellington (Texans): It was a whirlwind of a preseason for Ellington. After the 49ers waived him because of injury concerns and he failed a Jets physical, Houston stepped in to give him a chance. Ellington rewarded the Texans with eight catches for 122 yards in two preseason games, completing a turnaround from the fringes of the NFL.

WR Pharoh Cooper (Rams): I had Cooper in the “probably safe” category, but the Rams’ depth at WR was a bit of a concern. Fortunately, Cooper helped his case by hauling in a team-best five catches for 70 yards and returning a couple kickoffs for Los Angeles in the preseason finale.

WR Damiere Byrd (Panthers): After bouncing around on the Panthers’ practice squad for a couple years, hard work has finally paid off for Byrd. He shone for Carolina with three receiving touchdowns in the preseason.

TE Jerell Adams (Giants): Adams was in a similar spot as Cooper — probably safe, but dealing with a sudden logjam at his position. Fortunately, the Giants decided he was worth keeping.

RELEASED

DE Devin Taylor: Taylor was picked up in the fall by the New York Giants after getting waived by Detroit, which may be in the market for his services again.

QB Connor Shaw: After suffering a hamstring injury in the final preseason game, the legendary Gamecocks quarterback was waived by the Bears. A practice squad seems his most likely destination.

RB Mike Davis: Davis didn’t make the cut with the Seahawks, but did land on their practice squad.

DB Isaiah Johnson: Johnson will stick with the Buccaneers for a second stint on their practice squad.

RB Brandon Wilds: Wilds was waived/injured by the Browns after suffering a shoulder injury that kept him out of the preseason finale.