Only three former Arizona Wildcats made season-opening rosters in the NFL this year, among the lowest in program history. But four weeks into the 2023 campaign that number has grown to four.
Ex-UA defensive lineman Roy Lopez has been elevated to the Arizona Cardinals’ active roster, three days after being signed to the practice squad. The move was necessitated by potential season-ending injuries to a pair of Cardinals defensive linemen.
Lopez, 26, started 29 games the previous two seasons with the Houston Texans, who took him in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft. In his time with Houston he had 67 tackles, 11 for loss, with a sack, fumble recovery and safety, but the Texans cut him before this season.
A native of Tempe, Lopez played for the UA in 2020 after beginning his career at New Mexico State. He led the Wildcats in sacks and TFLs during that COVID-shortened season.
The other ex-UA players currently on NFL rosters are kicker Nick Folk (Tennessee Titans), running back Gary Brightwell (New York Giants) and linebacker Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (San Francisco 49ers).