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NFL Wild Card Round Longhorns to Watch

Several former Longhorns will be on the field in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs this weekend

After an unprecedented Week 18 that involved playoff-seeding chaos, the Wild Card Round bracket is set in the NFL, and it involved several former Texas football players playing key roles for their respective teams.

No. 5 Las Vegas Raiders at No. 4 Cincinnati Bengals, Saturday, Jan. 15, 3:30 p.m. CT, NBC

With Joseph Ossai on the reserve/injured list, former Longhorns center Trey Hopkins carries the Longhorns’ banner into this one. The sixth-year pro has started 15 games for the Bengals. He didn’t play last week as he was on the COVID-19/Reserve list. The Raiders have no Longhorns on their roster.

No. 6 New England Patriots at No. 3 Buffalo Bills, Saturday, Jan. 15, 7:15 p.m. CT, CBS

For New England, defensive back Adrian Phillips is the player to watch. The eighth-year pro is one of the stars of the Patriots’ defense, with 41 tackles and four interceptions. The Bills have no Longhorns on their roster.

No. 7 Philadelphia Eagles at No. 2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Jan. 16, 12:00 p.m. CT, FOX

Hassan Ridgeway, the sixth-year defensive tackle, plays a role for the Eagles as a rotational tackle. He’s played in 12 games and has eight tackles. The Buccaneers have no Longhorns on the roster.

No. 6 San Francisco 49ers at No. 3 Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Jan. 16, 3:30 p.m. CT, CBS, Nickelodeon

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Third-year defensive end Charles Omenihu is with the 49ers. He’s played in 12 games and has 13 tackles. For the Cowboys, fourth-year offensive lineman Connor Williams has played in all 17 games and made 14 starts.

No. 7 Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 2 Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 16, 7:15 p.m. CT, NBC

While there are no Longhorns on the Steelers’ roster, Alex Okafor is a defensive end for the Chiefs. The nine-year veteran already has a Super Bowl ring, won with the Chiefs two seasons ago. In 2021 he’s played 15 games and has seven tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.

No. 5 Arizona Cardinals at No. 4 Los Angeles Rams, Monday, Jan. 17, 7:15 p.m. CT, ABC/ESPN

The Cardinals have a pair of Longhorns. Linebacker Jordan Hicks is a starter who has 62 tackles and four sacks this season. Colt McCoy is the backup quarterback, but the 12th-year pro played in four different games for an injured Kyler Murray. The Rams have no Longhorns on their roster.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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