Following a wild final weekend to the 2021 regular season, the NFL playoff field is set.
With it, there are 34 Utah ties on NFL playoff rosters this postseason.
NFL wild-card playoffs schedule
Saturday, Jan. 15
- Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals, 2:30 p.m. MST
- New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, 6:15 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 16
- Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 11 a.m.
- San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys, 2:30 p.m.
- Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs, 6:15 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 17
- Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams, 6:15 p.m.
Note: The NFC No. 1 seed Green Bay Packers and AFC No. 1 seed Tennessee Titans earned first-round byes.
The 34 players matches the number of Utah ties on NFL playoff rosters during the 2020 postseason, and is up from 28 each of the previous two years.
The University of Utah again has the most former players on postseason rosters with 11, though this year the gap shrunk between it and the other in-state colleges. BYU is represented by eight players on playoff rosters, followed by five from Utah State, three from Weber State and one from Southern Utah.
Fifteen played high school football in Utah. Herriman High and Bingham High both have three former players in the postseason, while Stansbury, Timpview and Brighton have two, and Layton, Orem and Hunter are also represented.
Of those 34, 23 are on active rosters, eight are on practice squads and three on reserve lists.
Here’s a look at each of the Utah ties on NFL rosters this year. Players are on a team’s active roster unless otherwise specified:
AFC No. 1 seed: Tennessee Titans
- No Utah ties on roster.
AFC No. 2 seed: Kansas City Chiefs
- Zayne Anderson, S, BYU and Stansbury High: First playoff appearance. Anderson spent much of his rookie season on the practice squad before getting some special-teams action late in the year.
- Matt Bushman, TE, BYU (practice squad): First playoff appearance. Bushman, another rookie, was with the Raiders until recently, even playing limited snaps during a game midseason, but signed to the Chiefs’ practice squad less than a week ago.
- Marcus Kemp, WR, Layton High: Fifth playoff appearance, Super Bowl champion (with Chiefs, Super Bowl LIV). Kemp has been a special teams ace again this season for Kansas City, while also playing some limited snaps on offense.
- Daniel Sorensen, S, BYU: Seventh playoff appearance, Super Bowl champion (with Chiefs, Super Bowl LIV). Sorensen has been a key reserve in his eighth season with Kansas City and has 51 tackles, eight pass deflections and two interceptions this year.
AFC No. 3 seed: Buffalo Bills
- Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State: Third playoff appearance. Johnson, who had a pick-6 during the postseason last year, has started 15 games for Buffalo this season and had 76 tackles, seven pass deflections, three sacks and an interception for the league’s top defense during the regular season.
- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah, Snow College and Bingham High: Seventh playoff appearance, third with Buffalo. The veteran Lotulelei has three sacks as part of a Bills’ defense that allows just under 110 rushing yards per game.
- Zack Moss, RB, Utah: Second playoff appearance. Moss, who had his playoffs end early due to injury last season, has accounted for 542 total yards and five touchdowns in a backup role this year for Buffalo.
AFC No. 4 seed: Cincinnati Bengals
- Jalen Davis, CB, Utah State: First playoff appearance. Davis has seen the most action of his four-year pro career this season, mainly on special teams, during his second year in Cincinnati.
- Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, Timpview High (injured reserve): Fourth playoff appearance, with three different teams. Su’a-Filo started two games this year before going on injured reserve, though he returned to practice last week and could return to action during the playoffs.
AFC No. 5 seed: Las Vegas Raiders
- Jackson Barton, OT, Utah and Brighton High: Second playoff appearance, Super Bowl champion (with Chiefs, Super Bowl LIV). Barton, a third-year pro, has played in a pair of games this season for the Raiders.
- Andre James, C, Herriman High: First playoff appearance. James, a third-year pro who went undrafted, started every game at center for the Raiders this season.
- Dallin Leavitt, S, Utah State and BYU: First playoff appearance. Leavitt has enjoyed his most productive season as a fourth-year pro, putting up 35 tackles and two fumble recoveries during the regular season.
- Jeremiah Poutasi, OT, Utah (practice squad): Second playoff appearance, first with Las Vegas. Poutasi joined the Raiders’ practice squad to start the year, after he spent the previous three seasons out of the NFL.
AFC No. 6 seed: New England Patriots
- Harvey Langi, LB, BYU, Utah and Bingham High (injured reserve): Second playoff appearance. Langi, who went on IR in late October, was on the reserve list the first time his team made the playoffs, as a rookie in 2017.
- Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU: Seventh playoff appearance (fifth with New England), two-time Super Bowl champion (with Patriots, Super Bowls LI and LIII). After a one-year stint in Miami, Van Noy returned to New England this year and has 66 tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles on the season.
AFC No. 7 seed: Pittsburgh Steelers
- Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah: Second playoff appearance, first with Pittsburgh. Killebrew has 13 tackles, mainly as a special teamer, in his first season with the Steelers.
NFC No. 1 seed: Green Bay Packers
- Tipa Galeai, LB, Utah State: Second playoff appearance. Galeai, a second-year player, has played in six games this season, with 12 tackles and a sack, after starting the year on the practice squad.
- Bronson Kaufusi, TE, BYU and Timpview High (practice squad): First playoff appearance. Kaufusi has been on the practice squad all season for Green Bay, his first year with the franchise.
- Jordan Love, QB, Utah State: Second playoff appearance. Love, the Packers’ 2020 first-round selection, has thrown for 411 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions, with one start, while backing up Aaron Rodgers this season.
NFC No. 2 seed: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Darwin Thompson, RB, Utah State (practice squad): Third playoff appearance (first with Tampa Bay), Super Bowl champion (with Chiefs, Super Bowl LIV). Thompson signed to the Buccaneers’ practice squad in early September and has spent his entire first year in Tampa Bay there.
- Troy Warner, S, BYU (practice squad): First playoff appearance. Warner, a rookie, originally signed with the Los Angeles Rams after going undrafted, then signed to the Buccaneers’ practice squad in September.
NFC No. 3 seed: Dallas Cowboys
- Bradlee Anae, DE, Utah (practice squad): First playoff appearance. Anae started the season on the active roster and had a pair of tackles before going down to the team’s practice squad.
- Francis Bernard, LB, Utah, BYU and Herriman High: First playoff appearance. Bernard, who is currently on the COVID-19 reserve list, has four tackles while mainly playing special teams for the Cowboys this year.
- Simi Fehoko, WR, Brighton High: First playoff appearance. Fehoko, a rookie fifth-round pick, has largely been inactive during his first NFL season.
- Dalton Schultz, TE, Bingham High: Second playoff appearance. The fourth-year pro Schultz is having a breakout season for the Cowboys, with 78 receptions for 808 yards and eight touchdowns, all career bests.
NFC No. 4 seed: Los Angeles Rams
- Terrell Burgess, S, Utah: Second playoff appearance. Burgess missed the playoffs on injured reserve as a rookie last year, and this season he has 10 tackles as a reserve.
- Matt Gay, K, Utah and Orem High: Second playoff appearance. Gay earned Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his career this season and has made 32 of 34 field goals this season — a career-high 94.1% — for a Rams team that won the NFC West.
- Jonah Williams, DE, Weber State (practice squad): Second playoff appearance. Williams spent the start of the season on the active roster and had five tackles before moving down to the practice squad.
NFC No. 5 seed: Arizona Cardinals
- Kylie Fitts, OLB, Utah (injured reserve): Second playoff appearance, first with Arizona. Fitts landed on injured reserve in October after largely playing on special teams during the season’s first six weeks.
- Leki Fotu, DT, Utah and Herriman High: First playoff appearance. Fotu has earned three starts this season and put up 19 tackles, three pass deflections and a forced fumble during his second year as a pro.
NFC No. 6 seed: San Francisco 49ers
- Fred Warner, LB, BYU: Second playoff appearance. Warner reached the Super Bowl with the 49ers two years ago — where San Francisco lost to Kansas City — and the fourth-year pro had a career-high 137 tackles, four pass deflections and three fumble recoveries during the regular season.
- Mitch Wishnowsky, P, Utah: Second playoff appearance. Wishnowsky, the 49ers punter the past three seasons, was being evaluated for a concussion after taking a hit during San Francisco’s regular-season finale on Sunday.
NFC No. 7 seed: Philadelphia Eagles
- Sua Opeta, OG, Weber State and Stansbury High: First playoff appearance. Opera, a second-year pro, has played in 10 games for Philadelphia this season with two starts, including the regular-season finale.
- Noah Togiai, TE, Hunter High (practice squad): Second playoff appearance, first with Philadelphia. Togiai made the postseason with Indianapolis last year and spent this season on the practice squad for the Eagles.