FARGO — Defensive end Derrek Tuszka, wide receiver Darrius Shepherd, linebacker Kyle Emanuel and tight end Ben Ellefson were all added to NFL practice squads Sunday, Sept. 6.
Tuszka returned to the Denver Broncos, Shepherd to the Green Bay Packers, Emanuel to the Las Vegas Raiders and Ellefson to the Jacksonville Jaguars. All four were in training camp with those respective teams.
All four players had been released before joining their respective practice squads.
Tuszka and Ellefson are rookies who played with North Dakota State last season. Emanuel is an NFL veteran who sat out last season after he retired from pro football before making his return this season. Shepherd spent last season with the Packers, primarily on the team's practice squad.
Tuszka finished his Bison career with 29 1/2 sacks in 53 games with 42 tackles for a loss. In 2019, the 6-foot-5, 246-pound Tuszka had 13 1/2 sacks helping NDSU win its third consecutive Division I FCS national championship.
Shepherd played for the Bison from 2015-2018, finishing his career with 188 catches for 2,841 yards and 20 touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 188-pound Shepherd had 62 catches for 1,065 yards and nine touchdowns in 2018, his final season with NDSU.
#Packers are signing WR Darrius Shepherd to the practice squad, per source. Shepherd had a really good camp and gave himself a shot at the 53-man roster, but he stays on the 69.— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) September 6, 2020
The 6-foot-3, 251-pound Emanuel played with the Bison from 2011-2014, winning the Buck Buchanon award, given to the top defensive player in the FCS, during his senior season. Emanuel finished his NDSU career with 35 1/2 sacks in 61 games.
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6 months ago when I decided to play again I was just hoping for an opportunity, COVID did it’s best to make that as hard as possible....but I am officially back in the building as a Raiders practice squad member. May not be the opportunity I envisioned but I’m thankful nonetheless. #Raiders #WorkLeftToDo
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Ellefson finished his career at NDSU with 35 receptions for 463 yards, including 16 touchdowns. That translates to 46% of Ellefson's catches at NDSU were for touchdowns.
One Jaguars update: Rookie TE Ben Ellefson of North Dakota State is coming back on the team's practice squad.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 6, 2020