Eleven VFLs Set to Begin 2023 NFL Playoffs

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – With Super Wild Card Weekend just two days away, 11 former Tennessee Volunteers are gearing up for the NFL Playoffs with six currently on active rosters. Five active players will participate in Super Wild Card Weekend.

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers, Saturday, Jan. 14, 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX
The game with the most Tennessee representation is the first one of the 2023 playoffs as five former Vols makeup the two sides’ rosters for Seattle’s battle with San Francisco.

Suiting up for the Seahawks will be defensive back Justin Coleman and defensive end Darrell Taylor. Taylor has played a big role in his second year in the league, wrapping up nine and a half sacks, forcing four fumbles and recovering a loose ball in 2023. He has been in top form as of late, recording 6.5 sacks in Seattle’s final six regular-season games.

On the other sideline is wide receiver Jauan Jennings, who continues to build his role in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. The second-year man has a reception in the 49ers last six games and is gearing up for his first playoff run as a professional.

Also on the respective clubs is defensive back Emmanuel Moseley for San Francisco, who has been on the injured reserve, and linebacker Alexander Johnson, currently on Seattle’s practice squad. Johnson was elevated to the active roster for the first time this season in Week 18, and logged three total tackles in a 19-16 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Jan. 14, 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC
In Saturday’ nightcap, Joshua Palmer gears up for a battle with the AFC South-winning Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Palmer finished the 2022 regular season with the second-most receiving yards (769) and second-most catches (72) on the Chargers’ roster. He provided a steady presence throughout much of the season for LA in a receiver room that was battered with injury, playing 16 games, and averaging just under 50 yards per game.

New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Jan. 15, 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX
The final former Vol in action this weekend is rookie Theo Jackson of the Vikings. Jackson, who started the year with the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad before being signed to Minnesota’s active roster, has played in 11 games this year, and posted back-to-back contests with a tackle in Weeks 17 and 18.

The Kansas City Chiefs and Trey Smith are off this week after earning the top seed in the AFC and getting the bye, as are the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC and Derek Barnett, who is on injured reserve.

A pair of Vols currently occupy roster spots with the Baltimore Ravens, who will battle Cincinnati on Sunday, Jan. 15, at 8:15 p.m. ET in Cincinnati. Ja’Wuan James has been on the injured reserve for Baltimore while Kahlil McKenzie holds a spot on the team’s practice squad.

For a list of all games and the former Volunteers representing on each team’s roster, see the below list.

Saturday, Jan. 14

Seattle at San Francisco – 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX
Justin Coleman, DB
Darrell Taylor, DE
Alexander Johnson, LB (Practice Squad)

San Francisco
Jauan Jennings, WR
Emmanuel Moseley, CB (Injured Reserve)

Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville – 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC
Los Angeles
Joshua Palmer, WR

Sunday, Jan. 15

Miami at Buffalo – 1 p.m. ET, CBS

New York Giants at Minnesota – 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX

Theo Jackson, DB

Baltimore at Cincinnati – 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC
Ja’Wuan James, OL (Injured Reserve)
Kahlil McKenzie (Practice Squad)

Monday, Jan. 16
Dallas at Tampa Bay – 8:15 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN

-UT Athletics

Vols in the NFL / Credit: UT Athletics

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