A number of former South Carolina football players will be taking part in this weekend’s Wildcard matchups, opening the first round of the NFL playoffs. In all, eight Gamecocks will represent their professional teams in postseason action.
Another five will have to watch from the sidelines as they’re slowed by injury. Rico Dowdle, Javon Kinlaw, Donnell Stanley, Sadarius Hutcherson, and Ernest Jones are all on injured reserve.
The NFL action kicks off Saturday with the Bengals taking on the Raiders in Cincinnati. That game will see Bryan Edwards and Keisean Nixon battle it out for Las Vegas as they look to lead their team to a playoff win.
Edwards has hauled in 34 receptions for 571 yards and three scores this season. Nixon has appeared in 11 games, making 12 defensive stops.
That game is set to start at 4:30 PM on NBC.
Saturday’s second game will not have any Gamecocks participating, but Sunday’s contests are filled with former South Carolina players.
Philadelphia takes on Tampa Bay at 1 PM with the game being aired on FOX. Kicker Ryan Succop will attempt to get the Bucs to round two.
The 13-year veteran has converted 25-of-30 field goal attempts and leads the NFL with 56 made extra points.
Next up is San Francisco taking on Dallas. It will pit superstar Deebo Samuel against former teammate Israel Mukuamu.
Samuel has tallied 1,405 receiving yards, leading the NFL in yards per catch. He’s also added 365 yards on the ground and recorded 15 total touchdowns (6 rec, 8 rush, 1 pass).
Mukuamu has appeared in four games this year.
The Cowboys and 49ers kick off at 4:30 PM on both CBS and Nickelodeon.
In the night game, Pittsburgh tries to knock off Kansas City. The Chiefs have three defenders that hail from South Carolina in Melvin Ingram, Chris Lammons, and Rashad Fenton.
Ingram, who began the year with the Steelers, will now try to take down his former team. The pass rusher has tallied 25 tackles and a pair of sacks this season.
Lammons has recorded six tackles and recovered a fumble. Fenton has racked up 49 takedowns and a pair of interceptions.
The matchup between the Steelers and Chiefs begins at 8:15 PM Sunday night.
Finally, Monday night brings us a battle between the Rams and Cardinals. With linebacker Ernest Jones on the mend, there will be no Gamecocks in action.