It's NFL playoff time again, which means one Ohio NFL fanbase has no reason to care and the other already stocked up on cheap bourbon from a neighboring state to cope with another early exit.
This allows us Ohioans the opportunity to pick a new team to temporarily pull for. It could be permanent move, however, if you decided the Browns' newest internal promotion – whose most extensive workplace experience is as the owner of the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Club – to oversee football ops is your final straw.
Either way, feel free to select from this group of Buckeyes. Fourteen will participate throughout the course of this year's playoffs, most of whom play for the Panthers or Steelers.
The hope is at least one of these guys will be the next Nate Ebner:
|Player||Team||First Opponent, Round|
|Will Allen||Pittsburgh Steelers||at Cincinnati Bengals, Wild Card|
|Philly Brown||Carolina Panthers||Winner of Packers-Redskins, Divisional|
|Kurt Coleman||Carolina Panthers||Winner of Packers-Redskins, Divisional|
|Nate Ebner||New England Patriots||Winner of Steelers-Bengals, Divisional|
|Ted Ginn Jr.||Carolina Panthers||Winner of Packers-Redskins, Divisional|
|Doran Grant||Pittsburgh Steelers||at Cincinnati Bengals, Wild Card|
|A.J. Hawk||Cincinnati Bengals||vs Pittsburgh Steelers, Wild Card|
|Cameron Heyward||Pittsburgh Steelers||at Cincinnati Bengals, Wild Card|
|Corey Linsley||Green Bay Packers||at Washington Redskins, Wild Card|
|Andrew Norwell||Carolina Panthers||Winner of Packers-Redskins, Divisional|
|Mike Nugent||Cincinnati Bengals||vs Pittsburgh Steelers, Wild Card|
|Bradley Roby||Denver Broncos||Winner of Chiefs-Texans, Divisional|
|Ryan Shazier||Pittsburgh Steelers||at Cincinnati Bengals, Wild Card|
|John Simon||Houston Texans||vs Kansas City Chiefs, Wild Card|
Spencer Sees the Field
Last week, I wrote about Tampa Bay promoting Evan Spencer to the 53-man roster.
It was supposed to be a rousing homecoming against the Bears for Spencer, who graduated from Vernon Hills in Illinois. The Bucs did not activate him for the game, leaving doubt as to whether he'd make his NFL debut this year.
As it turns out, the team activated Spencer for their week 17 game against the Panthers. It should come as no surprise that he stood out on special teams and recorded a tackle.
Play of the WeEk
It took 17 weeks for Terrelle Pryor to resurface in the NFL and eventually make his first catch.
At the time, it was a huge play to set up a Browns field goal. The late second-half score brought Cleveland back within a touchdown of Pittsburgh. For a second, I imagine Joey Bosa entertained the thought of an upset and a diminished threat of ending up in a Browns uniform. Unfortunately for him, the Steelers went on to win and clinched a playoff spot.
Anyhow, here's Pryor's first NFL catch – as a wide receiver, he previously caught a pass when he played QB for the Raiders in 2012:
How They Fared in Week 17
|Mike Adams||Pittsburgh Steelers||OL||Won't play in 2015 but expected to return to team in 2016|
|Will Allen||Pittsburgh Steelers||S||7 tackles, 1 sack in win over Browns|
|Michael Bennett||Jacksonville Jaguars||DT||1 QB hit in loss to Texans|
|Alex Boone||San Francisco 49ers||OL||Out for season due to MCL sprain|
|Philly Brown||Carolina Panthers||WR/KR/PR||3 receptions, 58 yards in win over Bucs|
|Christian Bryant||St. Louis Rams||ST/DB||Active but did not record any stats in loss to 49ers|
|Kurt Coleman||Carolina Panthers||S||Inactive for win over Bucs due to foot sprain|
|Nate Ebner||New England Patriots||DB/ST||Active but did not record any stats in loss to Dolphins|
|Ted Ginn Jr.||Carolina Panthers||WR||Inactive for win over Bucs due to knee injury, missed out on bonus|
|Doran Grant||Pittsburgh Steelers||CB||Inactive for win over Browns|
|Johnathan Hankins||New York Giants||DT||On IR due to torn pectoral muscle|
|Brian Hartline||Cleveland Browns||WR||On IR due to broken collarbone|
|A.J. Hawk||Cincinnati Bengals||LB||Active but did not record any stats in win over Ravens|
|Boom Herron||Indianapolis Colts||RB||2 carries, 4 yards, 2 tackles, dropped pass led to INT in win over Titans|
|Cameron Heyward||Pittsburgh Steelers||DE||1 tackle, batted pass in win over Browns|
|Carlos Hyde||San Francisco 49ers||RB||Placed on IR due to foot injury|
|Malcolm Jenkins||Philadelphia Eagles||S||9 tackles, pass defended in win over Giants|
|James Laurinaitis||St. Louis Rams||LB||1 tackle in win over 49ers|
|Corey Linsley||Green Bay Packers||C||Called for hold and Packers fumbled right after. Fans blamed him.|
|Nick Mangold||New York Jets||C||Suffered one of the most disappointing losses of career against Bills|
|Jake McQuaide||St. Louis Rams||LS||Rams kick 3 field goals, miss 2 in loss to 49ers|
|Jack Mewhort||Indianapolis Colts||OL||Shifted back to right tackle in win over Titans|
|Andrew Norwell||Carolina Panthers||OL||Developing a following in the Carolinas|
|Mike Nugent||Cincinnati Bengals||K||1 field goal, 3 for 3 on extra points in win over Ravens|
|Terrelle Pryor||Cleveland Browns||WR||1 reception, 42 yards on six targets in loss to Steelers|
|Bradley Roby||Denver Broncos||CB||2 tackles, 2 passes defended in win over Chargers|
|Ryan Shazier||Pittsburgh Steelers||LB||7 tackles, 0.5 sack in win over Browns|
|John Simon||Houston Texans||LB||4 tackles, 0.5 sack in win over Jaguars|
|Devin Smith||New York Jets||WR||On IR due to torn ACL|
|Rod Smith||Dallas Cowboys||RB||Active but did not record a carry in loss to Washington|
|Evan Spencer||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||WR||1 tackle in NFL debut and loss to Panthers|
|Jake Stoneburner||Miami Dolphins||TE||Active but did not record a catch in win over Patriots|
|Donte Whitner||Cleveland Browns||S||1 tackle, felt obligated to apologize for Browns' ineptitude after loss to Steelers|
|Doug Worthington||St. Louis Rams||DL||Placed on IR after thigh injury, did not appear in week 17 loss to 49ers|