Fifteen VFLs On NFL Playoff Teams

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Fifteen VFLs are on teams that will compete in the NFL playoffs, which begin with Wild Card Weekend on Jan. 9-10.

Eight of those 25 players are on teams that won their divisions and four VFLs are on the No. 1-seeded team in their respective conference. Six-year NFL veteran Chris Scott is on the NFC South Champion Carolina Panthers, who own the league’s best record at 15-1 and home-field advantage as the NFC’s top seed. Britton Colquitt, Malik Jackson and Peyton Manning are on the AFC West Champion Denver Broncos (12-4), who secured the No. 1 seed and home field advantage after Manning led the team to a 27-20 win over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

Justin Coleman and Jerod Mayo are on the AFC East Champion New England Patriots (12-4), who have a first-round bye and home field for the Divisional Playoffs as the AFC’s No. 2 seed.

Arian Foster is on the AFC South Champion Houston Texans (9-7). He is on injured reserve as he recovers from a torn Achilles’ tendon he suffered in Week 7.

Cordarrelle Patterson and the NFC North Champion Minnesota Vikings (11-5) will host the Seattle Seahawks (10-6) on Sunday, Jan. 10, at 1:05 p.m. ET on NBC.

The Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) have four VFLs on their roster in Eric Berry, Tyler Bray (non-football injury list), Dustin Colquitt and Zach Fulton. The Chiefs open Wild Card Weekend at Houston on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 4:20 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Ramon Foster, Dan McCullers and the Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6) travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals (12-4) for Saturday’s second Wild Card game at 8:15 p.m. ET on CBS. Rajion Neal is on the Steelers’ practice squad.

Manning is in the NFL playoffs for the 15th time in his storied career. He ranks second all-time in career postseason passing yards (6,800) and fourth in postseason touchdowns (38).

Patterson (third year with Vikings) and Coleman (first year with Patriots) are headed to the postseason for the first time in their NFL careers.

Manning (2006 Indianapolis Colts, 2009 Indianapolis Colts, 2013 Denver Broncos), Mayo (2011 New England Patriots, 2014 New England Patriots), Colquitt (2013 Denver Broncos), Ramon Foster (2011 Pittsburgh Steelers) and Jackson (2013 Denver Broncos) have all reached the Super Bowl. Manning (2006 Indianapolis Colts) and Mayo (2014 New England Patriots) have been on Super Bowl champion teams.

Over the course of the season, 33 former Tennessee players have been on NFL rosters. Here is a breakdown of their individual seasons.

#91 Robert Ayers | New York Giants | DE | 7th Year

Robert Ayers enjoyed the finest year of his seven-year NFL career, posting career highs in tackles (41), solo tackles (31), sacks (9.5), forced fumbles (2) and passes defended (4).

Ayers was at his best late in the season. Over the last five games of the year, he racked up 28 tackles and 7.5 sacks and recorded a sack in each of those five games. He had six or more tackles in each of the Giants final three games.

His most impressive performance of the year may have been a six-tackle, two-sack performance against Carolina on Dec. 20. The Giants narrowly fell to the now 15-1 Panthers by a score of 38-35 and Ayers brought down MVP favorite Cam Newton twice.

The Giants finished third in the NFC East at 6-10. Ayers’ 9.5 sacks led the team.

In 96 career games played, Ayers has amassed 205 tackles, (151 solo), 26.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, three fumbles recovered and 13 passes defended.

2015 STATS: 12 GP, 11 GS, 41 tackles, 31 solo, 9.5 sacks, 4 pass def, 2 forced fumbles

 

 

#29 Eric Berry | Kansas City Chiefs | FS | 6th Year

Eric Berry’s remarkable return to the football field in 2015 after battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma has been one of the most inspiring stories of the year. After being diagnosed with cancer during the 2014 season, Berry played in just six games that year before spending the next several months in the battle of his life. Through treatments and hard work, Berry beat cancer and was welcomed back to the football world in the Chiefs’ preseason opener on Aug. 15.

On the field, Berry enjoyed a stellar season to earn his fourth trip to the Pro Bowl (2010, 2012, 2013, 2015). He posted 61 tackles (55 solo), two interceptions and 10 passes defended.

The Chiefs (11-5) are arguably the hottest team entering the playoffs after ending the regular season on a 10-game winning streak. During that 10-game streak, Kansas City’s defense limited opponents to under 20 points eight times. Berry, whose 61 tackles ranked third on the team, led a secondary that ranked ninth in the NFL in yards allowed (231.1 per game), second in interceptions (22), second in opposing completion percentage (57.5) and second in opposing quarterback rating (76.0).

In 69 career games played, Berry has amassed 350 tackles, (303 solo), 5.5 sacks, 10 interceptions, two forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered and 41 passes defended.

2015 STATS: 16 GP, 15 GS, 61 tackles, 55 solo, 2 INTs, 10 pass def

 

 

#9 Tyler Bray | Kansas City Chiefs (NFI List) | QB | 3rd Year

Tyler Bray was placed on the non-football injury list last January after suffering an ACL injury. He missed training camp and was on the NFI list at the start of the season.

Bray returned to practice in November and practiced with the team for three weeks before the Chiefs decided to keep him on the non-football injury list.

Bray signed a two-year contract extension with Kansas City through 2017 in September.

On Non-Football Injury List

 

 

#22 Justin Coleman | New England Patriots | CB | 1st Year

Justin Coleman has played in 10 games for the New England Patriots this season, making 21 tackles with five pass deflections.

Coleman made his NFL debut on Sept. 27, making three tackles in the Pats’ 51-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He has started two games for the defending Super Bowl Champions with his first career start against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 29. The Patriots won 36-7 and Coleman registered a career-high five tackles and had one pass deflection. He started the next week in a 27-10 win over Washington, posting three tackles and two pass deflections.

Coleman had a well-traveled summer as a rookie free agent. In May, he signed with the Minnesota Vikings and competed for a roster spot in training camp and the preseason. After being cut by the Vikings on Aug. 30, he signed with the Patriots’ practice squad on Sept. 4 but was released the next day. He signed with the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad on Sept. 6 before New England signed him to their active roster on Sept. 9.

2015 STATS: 10 GP, 2 GS, 21 tackles, 17 solo, 5 pass def

 

#4 Britton Colquitt | Denver Broncos | P | 7th Year

In his sixth year as the Denver Broncos’ punter, Britton Colquitt punted 84 times for 3,663 yards (43.6 average) and 3,336 net yards (39.7 net average). He pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line 22 times.

Colquitt produced quality punts time and again and ranked 12th in the league in opposing return average at just 6.9 yards per return.

His longest punt of the year was a 62-yarder in Denver’s 19-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens in the season opener on Sept. 13. Colquitt had three games (Sept. 27 at Detroit, Nov. 22 at Chicago, Dec. 28 vs. Cincinnati) with three punts inside the 20.

In 96 career games, Colquitt has a 45.2-yard career punting average with a 39.2-yard net average and 149 punts inside the 20.

2015 STATS: 16 GP, 84 punts, 43.6 avg, 39.7 net avg, 22 punts inside 20

 

#2 Dustin Colquitt | Kansas City Chiefs | P | 11th Year

In his 11th year with the Kansas City Chiefs, Dustin Colquitt remains one of the NFL’s top punters. He punted 75 times for 3,333 yards (44.4 average) and 3,063 net yards (40.8 net average). His 40.8 net average ranks eighth in the league and his 37 punts inside the 20 ranks third.

Opposing punt returners managed just 6.5 yards per return off of Colquitt’s punts, the eighth-best mark in the NFL.

His longest punt of the year was a 62-yarder at Cincinnati on Oct. 4. Colquitt had five games (Sept. 13 at Houston, Oct. 11 vs. Chicago, Nov. 15 at Denver, Nov. 22 at San Diego, Jan. 3 vs. Oakland) with four punts inside the 20.

The Colquitt brothers split their annual two-game series (Dustin’s Chiefs vs. Britton’s Broncos). Statistically, Dustin out-punted Britton in those games with nine punts for 436 yards (48.4 average) and 425 net yards (47.2 net average) and five inside the 20. Britton had 13 punts for a 45.5-yard average and a 43.8-yard net average with one punt inside the 20.

In 174 career games, Colquitt has a 44.8-yard career punting average with a 39.7-yard net average and 353 punts inside the 20.

2015 STATS: 16 GP, 75 punts, 44.4 avg, 40.8 net avg, 37 punts inside 20

 

#46 Morgan Cox | Baltimore Ravens | LS | 6th Year

Morgan Cox completed his sixth year with the Baltimore Ravens and played in all 16 games as the team’s long snapper.

None of Ravens punter Sam Koch’s 74 punts were blocked and none of kicker Justin Tucker’s 40 field goal attempts or 29 extra points were blocked with Cox serving as the long snapper.

Cox came back from a season-ending knee injury that limited him to just seven games in 2014.

Baltimore finished third in the AFC North at 5-11.

2015 STATS: 16 GP

 

#4 Matt Darr | Miami Dolphins | P | 1st Year

Matt Darr enjoyed a standout rookie season with the Miami Dolphins, emerging as one of the NFL’s top punters with is booming kicks. His 92 punts ranked third in the league while his 47.6-yard average ranked fourth and his 30 punts inside the 20 ranked eighth. His net average of 39.7 yards tied with Chicago’s Pat O’Donnell and fellow VFL Britton Colquitt (Denver) for 20th. His 47.6-yard punting average is the fourth-best mark in a single season in Miami Dolphins history

Darr earned Miami’s starting punter job over Pro Bowl punter Brandon Fields in the preseason when he averaged 51.2 yards on seven punts.

Darr’s best punting performance was against Dallas on Nov. 22 when he averaged 43.6 yards on seven punts and pinned the Cowboys inside their own 20 five times.

Miami finished fourth in the AFC East at 6-10.

2015 STATS: 16 GP, 92 punts, 47.6 avg, 39.7 net avg, 30 punts inside the 20

 

#23 Arian Foster | Houston Texans (Injured Reserve) | RB | 7th Year

Arian Foster was limited to four games this season. He suffered a torn right Achilles tendon in the Houston Texans’ game against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 25 and was having a strong performance with 117 total yards and two touchdowns before the injury. He was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 27.

Foster totaled 63 carries for 163 yards and one rushing touchdown and 22 catches for 227 yards and two receiving scores.

He is the Texans’ all-time leader in career rushing yards (6,472), rushing touchdowns (54) and carries (1,454). Foster also ranks fourth in team history with 249 receptions and fifth with 2,268 receiving yards.

2015 STATS: 4 GP, 4 GS, 63 carries, 163 yards, 2.6 avg, 1 rush TD, 22 rec, 227 yards, 10.3 avg, 2 rec TD

 

#73 Ramon Foster | Pittsburgh Steelers | OG | 7th Year

Ramon Foster started all 16 games of the 2015 regular season at guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers, helping anchor one of the league’s best offenses at 395.4 yards per game (third).

Steelers running backs ranked eighth in the league with a 4.4-yards-per-carry average and Pittsburgh’s offensive line tied for 11th in the league with 33 sacks allowed.

The seven-year veteran is making his fourth trip the postseason with Pittsburgh.

Foster, also known as “The Big Ragu,” has played in 102 career games for the Steelers and made 87 starts.

2015 STATS: 16 GP, 16 GS

 

#73 Zach Fulton | Kansas City Chiefs | OG | 2nd Year

Zach Fulton has played in 16 games with six starts this season for the Kansas City Chiefs. He made three-straight starts from Oct. 4-18 and had three-straight starts from Dec. 6-20, the latter coming during the Chiefs’ 10-game winning streak.

Fulton’s ability to play multiple positions on the offensive line proved useful this season as he had starts at right guard, left guard and center as the Chiefs battled through injuries.

Fulton and Kansas City’s offensive line dominated in the running game this year, ranking sixth in the NFL in both rushing yards per game (127.8) and yards per carry (4.7).

Fulton has played in all 32 games of his NFL career and made 22 starts. Saturday’s Wild Card Weekend game at the Houston Texans will be his first NFL playoff game.

2015 STATS: 16 GP, 6 GS

 

#15 Justin Hunter | Tennessee Titans (Injured Reserve) | WR | 3rd Year

Justin Hunter was limited to nine games and 22 catches for 264 yards and one touchdown in 2015 after suffering a fractured right ankle on Nov. 15 against Carolina Panthers. The Tennessee Titans put him on injured reserve the following day.

Hunter had a season-high 54 receiving yards on three catches against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 18. He caught an eight-yard, game-tying touchdown that forced overtime in the Titans’ 34-28 road win over the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 11.

He was on his way to perhaps his best game when his season ended against Carolina. He had four catches for 47 yards before sustaining the ankle injury while making a block.

The Titans finished fourth in the AFC South at 3-13.

Hunter has played in 35 games and started 13 games in his three-year NFL career. He has 68 career receptions for 1,116 yards, a 16.4-yard average and eight touchdowns.

2015 STATS: 9 GP, 5 GS, 22 rec, 264 yards, 12.0 avg, 1 TD

 

#97 Malik Jackson | Denver Broncos | DE | 4th Year

Malik Jackson has been a key anchor on the Denver Broncos’ defensive line in his first season as a full-time starter (started all 16 games). He had a career-high 45 tackles (34 solo) and led all Broncos defensive linemen with seven passes defended. Jackson also tallied five sacks, two fumbles recovered and one safety.

Denver led the NFL in total defense (283.1 yards allowed per game) and boasted the league’s best pass defense (199.6 yards) and third-best run defense (83.6 yards). Jackson’s five sacks also contributed to the Broncos’ league-leading 52.0 sacks.

Jackson is making his fourth-straight trip to the NFL playoffs as a member of the AFC West Champion Broncos. He was also on the 2013 Denver squad that lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

In his four-year NFL career, Jackson has played in 62 games with 134 tackles (100 solo), 14.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered and 15 passes defended.

2015 STATS: 16 GP, 16 GS, 45 tackles, 34 solo, 5.0 sacks, 7 pass def, 2 fumbles recovered, 1 safety

 

#70 Ja’Wuan James | Miami Dolphins | OT | 2nd Year

Ja’Wuan James started the first seven games of the season at right tackle for the Miami Dolphins before a toe injury suffered against the New England Patriots on Oct. 29 sidelined him for the rest of the year.

He returned to practice in late December/early January. The Dolphins finished fourth in the AFC East after going 6-10.

James has started all 23 of the games he has played in over his two-year NFL career.

2015 STATS: 7 GP, 7 GS

 

#35 Austin Johnson | New Orleans Saints | FB | 2nd Year

Austin Johnson had four carries for nine yards and a score and caught a career-high five passes for 30 yards over 10 appearances for the New Orleans Saints in 2015.

Johnson scored the first rushing touchdown of his career in the Saints’ 26-19 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 20, punching the ball in from one yard out in the fourth quarter. In New Orleans’ 38-27 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 27, he had two catches for 19 yards.

Johnson has played in 17 games in his two-year NFL career with two starts. He has 12 carries for 31 yards (2.6 average) and one touchdown and has seven catches for 45 yards (6.4 average) and one score.

2015 STATS: 10 GP, 1 GS, 4 carries, 9 yards, 2.3 rush avg, 1 rush TD, 5 rec, 30 yards, 6.0 rec avg

 

#18 Peyton Manning | Denver Broncos | QB | 18th Year

Peyton Manning started the Denver Broncos’ first nine games of the season, leading the team to a 7-2 mark.

After suffering a plantar fascia tear, he sat out the next six games while recovering from the injury before returning in Denver’s regular-season finale against San Diego on Jan. 3. Manning entered the game with the Broncos down 13-7 in the third quarter and directed the team on four scoring drives en route to a 27-20 win that gave Denver the No. 1 AFC seed and home-field advantage in the playoffs.

On Nov. 15, Manning became the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards on his first completion in the Denver Broncos’ 29-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Manning hit Ronnie Hillman on a 4-yard pass to move past Brett Favre (71,838) for most career passing yards. He currently sits at 71,940 yards.

Manning also passed the 6,000 passes completed mark. He has 6,125 in his career, making him and Favre (6,300) the only two quarterbacks in NFL history to connect on 6,000 passes.

Manning, a five-time NFL MVP (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013), makes his 15th trip to the postseason in his incredible pro career. He has played in three Super Bowls and won Super Bowl XLI against the Chicago Bears, earning Super Bowl MVP honors.

Over 18 seasons, Manning has completed 6,125 of 9,380 passes (65.3 percent) for NFL records of 71,940 yards and 539 touchdowns.

2015 STATS: 10 GP, 9 GS, 2,249 passing yards, 9 TDs, 17 INTs, 198 comp, 331 att, 59.8 comp pct

 

#51 Jerod Mayo | New England Patriots | MLB | 8th Year

Jerod Mayo played in all 16 games of the season, his eighth with the New England Patriots, making eight starts. He tallied 47 tackles (35 solo), one sack and one pass defended.

Mayo’s strong play and veteran leadership anchored another solid year for the Patriots’ defense. New England ranked ninth in total defense (339.4 yards allowed per game), ninth in rushing defense (98.8 yards) and 10th in scoring defense (19.7 points).

New England started the season 10-0 and the Pats’ defense held opponents to under 20 points seven times.

Mayo’s best game was an eight-tackle performance in New England’s 27-6 win at Houston on Dec. 13. He finished the year in strong fashion, racking up 21 tackles in the final four games.

In the offseason, Mayo battled back from a torn patella tendon that limited him to six games in 2014.

Over eight years in the NFL, the two-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLIX champion has played in 103 games with 93 starts, 803 tackles (537 solo), 11.0 sacks, 3 interceptions, 19 passes defended, 8 fumbles forced and 7 fumbles recovered.

2015 STATS: 16 GP, 8 GS, 47 tackles, 35 solo, 1.0 sack, 1 pass def

 

#66 Jacques McClendon | Miami Dolphins | OG | 5th Year

Jacques McClendon played in three games this season for the Dolphins, starting with a Week 2 road game at the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 20 and finishing with the final two games of the season against the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots.

McClendon was signed and released by the Dolphins three times in 2015 before the team signed him for a fourth time on Dec. 22.

The Dolphins finished fourth in the AFC East after going 6-10.

In his five-year NFL career, McClendon has played in 25 games and made five starts.

2015 STATS: 3 GP

 

#62 Dan McCullers | Pittsburgh Steelers | DT | 2nd Year

Dan McCullers played in 12 games this season for the Pittsburgh Steelers, making eight tackles and half of a sack.

He recorded two tackles in the Steelers’ Week 8 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He also had two stops and half of a sack in the team’s 33-20 win over the Bengals in Week 14.

McCullers is making his second trip to the postseason. The Steelers were the No. 3 seed in the AFC last year and fell to the Baltimore Ravens on Wild Card Weekend. McCullers had one tackle in that game.

In his two-year NFL career, McCullers has played in 21 games with one start, 10 tackles and 0.5 sack.

2015 STATS: 12 GP, 8 tackles, 0.5 sack

 

#77 Tony McDaniel | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | DT | 10th Year

Tony McDaniel was a key veteran on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive line in 2015, playing in 14 games and making 25 tackles (13 solo) with one sack and one pass defended.

McDaniel was at his best late in the season with 17 tackles and one sack over the Bucs’ final four games. He had a season-best five tackles in a 31-23 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Dec. 17 and recorded a sack in a loss to the Carolina Panthers on Jan. 3.

The Bucs’ defense ranked 10th in the NFL in yards allowed at 340.4 per game. Tampa Bay was also 11th in the league in run defense at 100.4 yards per game.

Tampa Bay finished fourth in the NFC South at 6-10.

McDaniel has played in 125 games in his career with 37 starts, 228 tackles, 140 solo, 11.5 sacks, two fumbles recovered, 15 passes defended and one safety.

2015 STATS: 14 GP, 3 GS, 25 tackles, 13 solo, 1.0 sack, 1 pass def

 

#17 Denarius Moore | Free Agent (formerly Buffalo Bills) | WR | 5th Year

Denarius Moore played six games with the Buffalo Bills, serving as a punt returner and a kick returner. He had five punts returned for a 15.4-yard average with a long of 27 and he also returned five punts for 14.0-yard average and a long of 20.

He signed with the Cincinnati Bengals over the summer and was released during cuts at the end of training camp. Moore signed with the Bills on Oct. 7 and was released on Nov. 25. He is currently a free agent.

In his five-year NFL career, Moore has played in 57 games with 37 starts. He has 142 career receptions for 2,169 yards and 17 touchdowns. He has returned 47 punts for 363 yards (7.7-yard average) and seven kickoffs for 107 yards (15.3-yard average).

2015 STATS: 6 GP, 5 PR, 15.4 PR avg, 5 KR, 14.0 KR avg

 

#44 Rajion Neal | Pittsburgh Steelers (Practice Squad) | RB | 2nd Year

Rajion Neal spent time with four teams in 2015. He spent the preseason with the Green Bay Packers and totaled 17 carries for 69 yards and 11 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.

After getting cut by the Packers on Sept. 5, 2015, Neal joined the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad on Sept. 7 before being released two days later. He signed with the Oakland Raiders practice squad on Sept. 22 and remained with the team until he was released on Nov. 17.

Neal signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad on Dec. 1.

2015 STATS: DNP

 

#84 Cordarrelle Patterson | Minnesota Vikings | WR | 3rd Year

In his third season with the Minnesota Vikings, Cordarrelle Patterson was the NFL’s top kick returner, returning 32 kickoffs for 1,019 yards to the league with a 31.8-yard kick return average (minimum 10 returns) and two kick return touchdowns.

Patterson also had an NFL-best six returns for 40 or more yards and his 25 returns of 20 or more yards tied for second in the league.

He returned a kick 93 yards for a touchdown in Minnesota’s 30-14 win against the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 15. Patterson brought back a 101-yard kick return touchdown in the Vikings’ 38-7 loss to the Seahawks on Dec. 6.

The Vikings went 11-5 to win the NFC North and are making their first playoff appearance since the 2012 season. Sunday’s Wild Card Weekend game against the Seattle Seahawks will be Patterson’s first NFL playoff game.

Patterson has a 30.1 career kick return average with four touchdowns. He also has 80 career catches for 863 yards and five touchdowns and 24 carries for 290 yards (12.1-yard average) and four scores.

2015 STATS: 16 GP, 1 GS, 32 KR, 1,019 KR yds, 31.8 KR avg, 2 KR TDs, 2 carries for 15 yards, 2 rec for 10 yards

 

#81 Mychal Rivera | Oakland Raiders | TE | 3rd Year

Mychal Rivera played a big role in the Oakland Raiders’ improvement from a 3-13 record in 2014 to a 7-9 record in 2015. Rivera hauled in 32 catches for 280 yards and one touchdown.

Rivera caught a season-high six passes for 46 yards in the Raiders’ 30-14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 15. He caught a game-winning 16-yard touchdown pass in Oakland’s 15-12 comeback road win over the Denver Broncos on Dec. 13.

Rivera has amassed 128 catches career catches for 1,221 yards (9.5-yard average) and nine touchdowns.

2015 STATS: 16 GP, 32 rec, 280 yards, 8.8 avg, 1 TD

 

#79 Chris Scott | Carolina Panthers | OG | 6th Year

Chris Scott played in a career-high 13 regular-season games in 2015 as a member of the Carolina Panthers’ superb offensive line.

The Panthers ranked 11th in the league in total offense (366.9 yards per game) and Carolina featured the NFL’s No. 2 rushing attack at 142.6 yards per game. The team also tied for 11th in fewest sacks allowed at 33.

The Panthers own the league’s best record at 15-1 and have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs as the NFC’s No. 1 seed.

Scott is making his fifth trip to the NFL playoffs and third-straight with the Panthers. He was previously on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2010 Super Bowl team and their 2011 playoff team.

Scott has played in 33 games and made eight starts in his six-year NFL career.

2015 STATS: 13 GP

 

#8 Matt Simms | Atlanta Falcons (Practice Squad) | QB | 4th Year

Matt Simms has been on the Atlanta Falcons’ practice squad since Sept. 7.

The Buffalo Bills claimed him off of waivers in May and he competed for a backup quarterback job in Buffalo through the final preseason game. In three preseason games with the Bills, Simms completed 27-of-46 passes (58.7 percent) for 288 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also ran seven times for 37 yards (5.3 average). He started the final preseason game and was released on Sept. 4.

Simms has played in four NFL regular season games in his career (all with the New York Jets), completing 48.7 percent of his passes for 195 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also has 39 rushing yards on six carries for a 6.5-yard average.

2015 STATS: DNP

 

#88 Luke Stocker | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | TE | 5th Year

Luke Stocker played in 14 games in his fifth season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, making a career high 13 starts. He made nine catches for 61 yards and one touchdown.

Stocker had three catches for 22 yards in a 31-30 loss to Washington on Oct. 25 and three catches for 25 yards and a touchdown in a 31-23 loss to St. Louis on Dec. 17. Stocker’s three-yard touchdown catch against the Rams was his first touchdown since snaring a one-yard touchdown against Dallas on Sept. 23, 2012.

Stocker has played in 59 games in his career with 42 starts, 44 receptions, 359 yards and two touchdowns.

2015 STATS: 14 GP, 13 GS, 9 rec, 61 yards, 6.8 avg, 1 TD

 

#62 James Stone | Atlanta Falcons (Injured Reserve) | C | 2nd Year

James Stone played in seven games this season for the Atlanta Falcons with one start. He was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 18 after suffering an injury in practice before Atlanta’s Week 15 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

On Oct. 11 against Washington, Stone stepped in for the injured center Mike Person and helped the Falcons rumble to 418 yards of offense and 176 rushing yards in a 25-19 overtime win.

Stone made his only start of the year against the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 15, paving the way for 413 yards of offense and 150 rushing yards in a 31-21 road loss.

Stone has played in 19 games and made 10 starts in his two-year NFL career.

2015 STATS: 7 GP, 1 GS

 

#63 Dallas Thomas | Miami Dolphins | OG | 3rd Year

Dallas Thomas was the only Miami Dolphins lineman to start all 16 games of the 2015 season. His ability to play multiple positions along the offensive line proved useful as the team moved him from left guard to left tackle early and late in the season when Branden Albert suffered injuries.

Thomas was the steadying force on an offensive line that protected quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who produced a second-straight 4,000-yard passing season. He helped pave the way for 180 rushing yards in Miami’s 38-10 win over the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 18 and 248 rushing yards in the team’s 44-26 win over the Houston Texans on Oct. 25.

The Dolphins finished fourth in the AFC East after going 6-10.

Thomas has played in 36 games and made 25 starts in his three-year NFL career.

2015 STATS: 16 GP, 16 GS

 

#90 Dan Williams | Oakland Raiders | DT | 6th Year

Dan Williams enjoyed his finest season in his sixth year in the NFL. In his first year with the Oakland Raiders, he set career highs for games played (16), starts (15) and tackles (48) and tied his personal bests for solo tackles (33), sacks (1.0) and fumble recoveries (1).

Williams bolstered a Raiders defensive line that ranked 13th in the league in rush defense, allowing just 104.9 yards per game.

Williams has six games in which he registered four or more tackles, including a seven-tackle performance in a 30-14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 11. He sacked Kansas City’s Alex Smith in a 34-20 loss to the Chiefs on Dec. 6.

He was a major factor in Oakland’s turnaround from a 3-13 team in 2014 to a 7-9 squad in 2015.

Williams has played in 86 career games with 45 starts, 204 tackles (142 solo), three sacks, two fumbles recovered and nine passes defended.

2015 STATS: 16 GP, 15 GS, 48 tackles, 33 solo, 1.0 sack, 1 pass def, 1 fumble recovered

 

#69 Jordan Williams | Miami Dolphins | DE | 1st Year

The Miami Dolphins signed Jordan Williams to their practice squad on Oct. 6 and signed to the team roster on Dec. 5. Williams played in the Dolphins’ 15-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 6. After being waived in late December, Williams signed a future contract with the Dolphins earlier this week.

Williams played in four preseason games for the New York Jets and made five tackles. The Jets waived him on Sept. 5 before signing him to their practice squad on Sept. 6.

2015 STATS: 1 GP

 

#82 Jason Witten | Dallas Cowboys | TE | 13th Year

Jason Witten had another outstanding year for the Dallas Cowboys, catching 77 passes for 713 yards and three touchdowns as the team battled through injuries and at several positions, including quarterback. Dallas finished fourth in the NFC East at 4-12.

Witten passed some major milestones in 2015. On Nov. 22 against Washington he had five catches for 45 yards to reach the 1,000-catch mark. With 1,020 receptions in his career, he ranks 10th on the NFL all-time list and second among tight ends. He ranks third among active players in career receptions, trailing only free agent Reggie Wayne (1,070) and Indianapolis’ Andre Johnson (1,053).

Witten also passed the 11,000-yard receiving mark and finished the year ranked 32nd all-time with 11,215 yards.

Witten had an eight-catch, 60-yard, two-touchdown game in the Cowboys’ 27-26 win over the New York Giants in the season opener. He also passed Dallas great Michael Irvin with a franchise-record 118 consecutive games with a catch when he reeled in six catches for 58 yards and a touchdown in the season finale against Washington.

He has played all 13 years of his NFL career in Dallas and amassed 1,020 catches for 11,215 yards (11.0 average) and 60 touchdowns.

2015 STATS: 16 GP, 16 GS, 77 rec, 713 yards, 9.3 avg, 3 TDs

 

#4 Justin Worley | Chicago Bears (Practice Squad) | QB | 1st Year

Justin Worley signed with the Chicago Bears practice squad on Nov. 24 and was released on Dec. 8.

Over the summer, he went through rookie mini-camp with the Cleveland Browns and the New Orleans Saints.

2015 STATS: DNP

NFL Playoffs

WILD CARD WEEKEND

  • 9:Kansas City at Houston, 4:35 p.m. ET, ESPN
  • 9:Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 8:15 p.m. ET, CBS
  • 10:Seattle at Minnesota, 1:05 p.m. ET, NBC
  • 10:Green Bay at Washington, 4:40 p.m. ET, FOX

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS

  • 16:TBD at New England, 4:35 p.m. ET, CBS
  • 16:TBD at Arizona, 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC
  • 17:TBD at Carolina, 1:05 p.m. ET, FOX
  • 17:TBD at Denver, 4:40 p.m. ET, CBS

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • 24:AFC Championship, 3:05 p.m. ET, CBS
  • 24:NFC Championship, 6:40 p.m. ET, FOX

SUPER BOWL 50

Feb. 7: AFC Champ vs. NFC Champ, 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS

VFL IN NFL PLAYOFFS

AFC
Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs
Tyler Bray, Kansas City Chiefs (Non-FB Injury List)
Justin Coleman, New England Patriots
Britton Colquitt, Denver Broncos
Dustin Colquitt, Kansas City Chiefs
Arian Foster, Houston Texans (Injured Reserve)
Ramon Foster, Pittsburgh Steelers
Zach Fulton, Kansas City Chiefs
Malik Jackson, Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots
Dan McCullers, Pittsburgh Steelers
Rajion Neal, Pittsburgh Steelers (Practice Squad)

NFC
Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings
Chris Scott, Carolina Panthers

 

BY TENNESSEE

 

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