With the Philadelphia Eagles clinching the No. 1 overall NFC seed and first-round bye, there’s plenty of worry-free watching to be had on Wild Card weekend. There are many former Eagles suiting up for the first round of the playoffs, and a couple former coaches, too.
The only other postseason team not playing this weekend is the Kansas City Chiefs, led by legendary Eagles head coach Andy Reid, and includes former Philly long snapper James Winchester.
Here are some of the other Eagle alumni suiting up this weekend and who to look for in each matchup:
Not much to watch in terms of former Eagles in the first matchup of the Wild Card weekend. The 49ers formerly had quite a haul of Philadelphia alumni, but now, both of their former Eagles — Hassan Ridgeway [DT] (strained pec) and Jordan Matthews [TE] (torn ACL) — are on IR.
Four former Eagles are currently on the Chargers roster (DeAndre Carter [WR], Chase Daniel [QB], Michael Jacquet [DB], Richard Rodgers [TE]), although, you can expect to see only one on the field.
DeAndre Carter is having a career season for the Chargers. He played in all 17 regular season games, started seven, and had a career-best 46 catches on 65 targets for 538 yards and tied his career-high of three touchdowns. Carter showed in 2021 that he can be more than just a special teams contributor, and the Chargers gave him that shot in 2022. Carter is still doing a great job on special teams, however, claiming 29 punt returns for 339 yards, and 26 kick returns for 497 yards.
Someone unlikely to see the field, although it’s not entirely impossible, is quarterback Chase Daniel. The 13-year veteran has seen snaps in four games for the Chargers this season, but mostly in Weeks 17 and 18 with 13 offensive snaps in each matchup. Other former Eagles include Michael Jacquet, who is a member of the team’s practice squad, and Richard Rodgers, who is on IR. Rodgers had played in 10 games for the Chargers before being sidelined with a knee injury ahead of Week 14.
As for the Jaguars, there aren’t any former Eagles on the roster, but the entire team is lead by the one and only Doug Pederson. The Super Bowl-winning, ice cream-loving, visor-wearing head coach, who took a team that has been the laughing stock of the NFL for the past several years, and turned them into the AFC South Champions. Pederson is still loved in Philly, as evidenced by the fact that the Eagles sent him and the staff some cheesesteaks for beating the Cowboys earlier in the season.
This early-Sunday matchup will feature the most former Eagles, with the Dolphins (River Cracraft [WR], Raheem Mostert [RB], Duke Riley [LB], Eric Rowe, [SAF], Jamal Perry [CB]) taking on the Bills (Ryan Bates [OL], Jordan Poyer [SAF], Jared Mayden [DB], Matt Barkley [QB]).
For the Dolphins, River Cracraft hasn’t been a large producer, but has been a consistent contributor. Cracraft played in 11 games for Miami this season, and took most of his snaps on offense versus special teams — where he was predominantly utilized by San Francisco last season — and made 9 catches for 102 yards.
Raheem Mostert was back with a vengeance in 2022, and had a career-high season and also played in all but one regular season game — and was the starter in 14 games. He finished the regular season with 181 carries for 891 yards and three touchdowns, plus 31 catches for 202 yards and two touchdowns, giving the running back his first season with 1,000 total offensive yards. Mostert was also used as the kick returner 25 times, and recorded 502 yards.
Duke Riley still saw most of his snaps come from special teams, but did get more defensive opportunities, and even started two games for the Dolphins this season and recorded his first full sack. Eric Rowe, on the other hand, saw very few special team snaps, and finished the regular season with 56 total tackles, 2.0 sacks, 2 defended passes, and 2 forced fumbles. And, Jamal Perry (née Jomal Wiltz) spent the year on Miami’s practice squad.
For the Bills, Ryan Bates has lined up for 100 percent of the offensive snaps in 11 of their 16 regular season games this season, and has earned a starting role in 2022. Jordan Poyer was named to the Pro Bowl after his performance this year, which included 63 totals tackles, 8 defended passes, 4 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble — the safety also drove 15 hours to play in their game against Kansas City after he wasn’t medically cleared to fly.
Jared Mayden was signed by the Bills just last week off the Jets practice squad, in hopes of adding some secondary depth, and they have quarterback Matt Barkley on the practice squad.
The Dolphins are a very long shot to win this game, although stranger things have certainly happened, but Miami is absolutely a more appealing opponent for the Eagles if it comes to that.
Some very familiar names will be on the field when the Giants (Jack Anderson [OG], Marcus Johnson [WR]) take on the Vikings (Jordan Hicks [LB], Nick Mullens [QB], Jalen Reagor [WR], Chandon Sullivan [CB]).
For the Giants, Jack Anderson has seen a handful of special team snaps throughout the season, and a few offensive snaps, as well. He did get two starts this season, in which he played 100 percent of the offensive snaps, against the Cowboys and Eagles. Similarly, Marcus Johnson has seen mostly special teams snaps, but he has been involved in the offensive game plans on several occasions. Johnson finished the regular season having seven starts with 9 catches on 22 targets for 99 yards.
For the Vikings, Jordan Hicks didn’t seem to take a step back when moving to Minnesota from Arizona this offseason and was just as productive as he’s been in recent years. Hicks finished the 2022 regular season with 129 total tackles, 10 pass breakups, 3.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 1 interception returned for 19 yards. He also played every single week, as he’s done now for the past four seasons — every season since leaving Philly, that is.
Nick Mullens hasn’t played a lot for the Vikings this season, but has come in from time-to-time. He saw snaps in four games, but 33 of his 54 offensive snaps came in Week 18 when the starters were rested. Jalen Reagor has been every bit as mediocre as he was in Philly, and has been mostly utilized on special teams. Reagor finished with eight catches for 104 yards and a touchdown, in addition to 26 punt returns for 167 yards. Chandon Sullivan had 10 starts for the Vikings this season, and finished with a career-high 60 tackles and 7 passes defended.
It’ll be interesting to see if any former Eagles get playing time for the Ravens in this Wild Card weekend matchup. Kevon Seymour [CB] and Daryl Worley [CB] have both spent time on the practice squad this season, but were called up on various occasions. Seymour has been mostly used on special teams, and Worley got his first defensive start in Week 18. Steven Means [DE] has been on IR all season after tearing his Achilles in mid-September, and the team released DeSean Jackson [WR] the day before their regular season finale.
The Bengals put Elijah Holyfield [RB] on IR ahead of the season with a leg injury, so the rusher hasn’t seen any playing time this year (or last).
The Cowboys really made a big move this offseason when they signed legendary Eagles’ Bodyguard Jason Peters [OT] to their practice squad. Eventually, as expected, Peters was brought up to the game-day 53, and has played in 10 regular season games, and started in one. The 40-year-old has made a few tackles and made a few big plays for his new team. Dallas also has Philly alumnus Anthony Rush [DT] on their practice squad.
For the Buccaneers, Genard Avery [LB] played in nine games throughout the season, lining up both on defense and special teams, before he sustained abdomen and oblique injuries in Week 14 and ultimately landed on IR.