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How to watch Utes in the NFL playoffs this weekend

The Utah football program will be well represented when the NFL playoffs begin this weekend

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Buffalo tight end Dalton Kincaid warms up before game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, in Orchard Park, NY.

Buffalo tight end Dalton Kincaid warms up before playing against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, in Orchard Park, NY. On Sunday, the former Ute and his Bills teammates will open their playoffs with a game against the Steelers in Buffalo.

Jeff Lewis, Associated Press

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The NFL playoffs have arrived.

Twelve of the 14 teams that made the playoffs will play this Super Wild Card Weekend, with the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, the No. 1 seeds in their respective conferences, earning a first-round bye.

The Ravens, who have former Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley and safety Marcus Williams on the roster, locked up the No. 1 seed in the AFC. They’ll play the lowest-seeded team that advances to the divisional round next week.

The 49ers feature former Ute Mitch Wishnowsky as their starting punter and earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Three of the six playoff matchups this weekend will feature at least one former University of Utah player; here’s how to watch them.

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans, Saturday, 2:30 p.m. MST, NBC

Diabate transferred from Florida to Utah for his senior season, playing the 2022 campaign at Utah and racking up 58 total tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and a forced fumble. Diabate was a starter at linebacker in 2022, when Utah won its second Pac-12 title.

He signed with Cleveland as an undrafted free agent and has played in six games (26 total snaps) for the Browns, starting last week’s game.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills, Sunday, 11 a.m. MST, CBS

Kincaid, who has played in all but one game in his rookie season, has become one of Josh Allen’s go-to targets. Kincaid has 73 receptions (second on the team) for 673 yards and two touchdowns. At Utah, he was a back-to-back Pac-12 champion, leading all college tight ends with 890 receiving yards in 2022.

  • Bryan Thompson, WR, Bills (on practice squad).

Thompson spent four seasons at Utah before transferring to Arizona State in 2021. His most productive year as a Ute came in 2019, when he caught 18 balls for 461 yards and three touchdowns. Thompson is on the Bills’ practice squad and hasn’t seen time yet this season.

Rowe, who spent four seasons at Utah from 2011-14, has carved out a lengthy NFL career. He’s a two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots and has been in the league for nine seasons. Rowe is currently on the Steelers’ practice squad, but played in three games this season for Pittsburgh, recording 29 tackles, an interception, two pass breakups and a forced fumble.

At Utah, Rowe totaled 261 tackles, three interceptions and 28 pass deflections over the course of his career.

Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Monday, 6:15 p.m. MST, ABC/ESPN

Covey has been the starting punt returner for the Eagles this season, ranking near the top of the NFL leaderboard in average yards per return this season (14.4 yards). He’s had seven returns of 20-plus yards and two 40-plus-yard returns, including a 54-yard return against the New York Giants.

He also has four receptions for 42 yards, getting his first career NFL reception on Christmas against the Giants.

During his five years at Utah, Covey had 2,011 receiving yards and averaged nearly 12 yards per punt return, taking four punts and one kick to the house. He was a starter on Utah’s first Pac-12 championship team.

In case you missed it

Utah basketball guard Wilguens Jr. Exacte is redshirting due to injury. The sophomore who played in all 32 games as a freshman and averaged 3.6 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game hadn’t played all season long.

From the archives

Extra points

  • Perfection and the highest season opening score in nearly 20 years propels Utah past Boise State (Deseret News)
  • Michigan cornerback Cameron Calhoun transfers to Utah (Deseret News)
  • UTEP defensive end Kanious Vaughn transfers to Utah (Deseret News)

Up next

  • Jan. 11 | 7 p.m. | Men’s basketball | UCLA | @ Salt Lake City
  • Jan. 12 | 6 p.m. | Women’s basketball | Stanford | @ Salt Lake City
  • Jan. 13 | 2 p.m. | Gymnastics | ESPN Invitational (Oklahoma, UCLA, LSU) | @ West Valley City (Maverik Center)
  • Jan. 14 | Noon | Women’s basketball | Cal | @ Salt Lake City
  • Jan. 14 | 3 p.m. | Men’s basketball | Stanford | @ Palo Alto, California
  • Jan. 15 | 4 p.m. | Gymnastics | Best of Utah Invitational (BYU, SUU, Utah State) | @ West Valley City (Maverik Center)

All times MST

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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Britain Covey works out prior to a game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023, in Philadelphia. The Eagles face Tampa Bay Monday night to wrap up Super Wild Card Weekend.

Matt Slocum, Associated Press