Thirteen former Oregon players have made their way to the NFL Playoffs this season. While the Ducks may have fallen short of College Football Playoff glory this year, Pro Ducks have a lot of opportunities to make a big impact in playoffs.
With players across eight of the 14 teams in the playoff picture, I would argue that fans have a good chance of seeing their beloved Ducks in the Super Bowl but maybe that’s just optimistic thinking.
Sadly, there will be no Herbert or Thibodeux on the scene as the Los Angeles Chargers and New York Giants were eliminated well before the bracket was set.
The Ducks currently have 36 players on an NFL 53-man roster, here’s a look at who you can see show off their skills in the playoffs.
The Wild Card Round
The Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers have a bye week since they both finished atop their respective divisions. That leaves 12 teams playing in the Wild Card round:
Cleveland Browns vs Houston Texans
Houston is chock-full of Ducks. With safety Brady Breeze locking down offenses and wide receivers Chase Cota and Johnny Johnson III going out as targets for C.J. Stroud, fans should be able to see some Oregon stars making big plays.
Breeze’s crowning glory for the Ducks came in the 2020 Rose Bowl. Johnson and Cota are both rookies in 2023 and have not been able to see the field quite yet.
The Browns currently don’t have any former Oregon players on their roster.
Miami Dolphins vs Kansas City Chiefs
While the Chiefs don’t have any Ducks on their team, the Dolphins have a standout defensive player Jevon Holland.
Frequently featured on SportsCenter, Holland makes big-time plays for Miami as their starting safety.
He did pull himself from last Sunday’s game against the Bills due to knee soreness that he has reportedly been struggling with for about a month. If Holland can’t make a start in the Wild Card game, it will be a huge loss for the Dolphins’ secondary.
Dallas Cowboys vs Green Bay Packers
Just one Duck will make a showing in this Wild Card game, guard T.J. Bass. He was signed by the Cowboys in 2023 after going undrafted and has since played nearly 350 offensive snaps.
Bass has only allowed one sack this season and made his second NFL start in week 18 when Dallas played the Washington Commanders.
LA Rams vs Detriot Lions
Royce Freeman has been in the NFL since 2018 and is currently the backup running back for the Rams behind Kyren Williams. He has rushed for 319 yards this season in his 14 appearances and has scored two touchdowns for LA.
Penei Sewell, offensive tackle for the Lions, has become a mainstay for Detriot’s O-Line. The 7th overall pick in 2021, Sewell has played nearly 2000 snaps and has only been credited for allowing 1 sack in his career.
Last season, Sewell even got to report as an eligible receiver and had a nine-yard reception for a first down. He will also be featured in the 2024 NFL Pro Bowl.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs don’t have any Ducks on their roster – even though that rhyme is pretty nice. However, the Eagles have some all-star backs ups on the sideline.
Marcus Mariota, Heisman-winning Duck hero, is the backup quarterback to Jalen Hurts. Hurts, who has struggled with a few minor injuries has had to leave games throughout the season and Mariota has been able to step up and play quite a few snaps for Philly.
The Eagles also feature running back Devon Allen. A Duck legend in the early 2010s, Allen turned his attention to professional track when he first left Oregon.
However, he must have missed the field because in 2022 he attended the UO NFL Combine and signed a contract with Philadelphia. He has appeared in two games this season and has returned a kickoff for 17 yards.
The Divisional Round
Making their first 2024 playoff appearances in the second round will be Ducks on the Ravens’ and the 49ers’ rosters.
Baltimore has its sole former Oregon football player in Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu. The rookie has yet to see game time this season but Duck fans can stay hopeful that their former offensive guard sees the field later in January.
San Francisco is another NFL team with quite a few Ducks in the lineup. Most notable is cornerback Deommodore Lenoir. He has accounted for three interceptions and a whopping 84 tackles this season. Lenoir was drafted in the 5th round by the 49ers in 2021.
The Niners also feature defensive tackle Arik Armstead, currently listed as questionable, and cornerback Terrance Mitchell, who has 39 tackles, one forced fumble, and one interception so far this year.
Armstead is the 49ers' player nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.
Even if you’re like me, a sad NY Giants fan, and your team isn’t in the playoffs this year, you can still watch the players you love take the field. The 13 men who will dress this Sunday, Monday, and next weekend, are some of the best Ducks in the league right now and man is it fun to see them play.