MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A total of eight former West Virginia University football players are on teams that will play in the NFL playoffs beginning this weekend.
Five of those eight former Mountaineers belong to teams in the AFC.
Here’s information on all of those players, and their first-round matchups.
David Long Jr. (Tenn), First round bye
The hard-hitting David Long Jr. is part of a Tennessee Titans team that captured the top-overall seed in the AFC on the final day of the regular season.
Long set a career-high with 47 solo tackles this year. He was part of 76 total tackles, recorded four tackles for loss, and a pair of interceptions.
He did all of that despite missing nine weeks of the season due to injury.
Long and the Titans have earned a bye for the first round, and will await the winner of the (2) Kansas City vs. (7) Pittsburgh matchup.
Nick Kwiatkoski (LV) vs. Quinton Spain (Cin)
Nick Kwiatkoski’s Las Vegas Raiders narrowly escaped Week 18 of the NFL season by not only eliminating the rival Los Angeles Chargers (along with former Mountaineer Kyzir White), but by claiming the No. 5 seed in the process.
Kwiatkoski and the fifth-seeded Raiders will face off against Quinton Spain’s No. 4-seeded Cincinnati Bengals in the first round. That playoff contest is scheduled for Saturday Jan. 15 at 4:30 p.m. on NBC.
The Raiders linebacker played in just eight games for Las Vegas this season, and has missed each of the last five games due to an ankle injury. He is currently on Injured Reserve, but is eligible to return to the active roster when healthy.
Spain, on the other hand, has played in all but one game this season. He and a large number of the other Bengals starters sat out Week 18 to rest for the playoffs.
Yodny Cajuste (NE) vs. Buffalo Bills
Former WVU offensive lineman Yodny Cajuste will try to help the New England Patriots beat the rival Buffalo Bills for the second time this season. The two teams split their regular season matchups.
Cajuste appeared in just seven games for the Patriots this season, but remains on the team’s active roster.
The 2019 draft pick started a pair of games for New England this season.
Cajuste and the sixth-seeded Patriots will look to upset the three-seeded Bills beginning at 8:15 p.m. on CBS on Saturday Jan. 15.
Karl Joseph (Pit) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Karl Joseph, Big Ben, and the Pittsburgh Steelers earned the right to play one more game this season. They did so by beating and eliminating the rival Baltimore Ravens (and Daryl Worley) in overtime in the regular season finale on Sunday.
Joseph has played in just two games for Pittsburgh this year, and hasn’t played since Week 11.
He remains on the team’s practice squad for now.
Joseph and the seventh-seeded Steelers will take on the No. 2 seed, Kansas City Chiefs, at 8:15 p.m. on Sunday Jan. 16, in a game that will be televised on NBC.
Kansas City is now the future home to former Mountaineer Darius Stills, who signed a contract with the team on Tuesday.
Click here to read about the other former Mountaineers, who are competing in the NFC playoffs.