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Illini to watch in the NFL playoffs

The playoffs are here. And so are some Illini!

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

The biggest highlight by any Illini in the NFL probably came Sunday night, when rookie safety Kerby Joseph (of the Lions) picked off Aaron Rodgers and sealed the Packers fate, sending them home for the postseason.

But Joseph’s Lions also aren’t going to the playoffs after the Seahawks won on Sunday.

However, there are some Illini who will be competing for a Super Bowl over the next month.

Ted Karras

Karras, who notably won a pair of Lombardis with the Tom Brady Patriots, is now snapping the ball to Joe Burrow on the Bengals. The 29-year-old started 16 games this year for Cincinnati, the No. 3 seed in the AFC.

Vederian Lowe

Lowe played sparingly in his rookie season with the Vikings, but saw the field for 40 snaps in Week 18 against the Bears.

The Vikings are facing the Giants this weekend.

Jihad Ward

Speaking of the Giants, Jihad Ward, formally of the Jags, started 11 games this year. He finished with 43 tackles for the G-Men.

Del’Shawn Phillips

I’m not sure many people are giving the Ravens a chance this weekend against the Bengals, but Del’Shawn Phillips will see the field at some point. Phillips appeared in 16 games this season, mostly on special teams.

Nick Allegretti

Finally, how could we not include Nick Allegretti here??? The ultimate warrior on some bad Illinois teams, Allegretti ended up in the perfect situation in Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes.

Allegretti hasn’t played as much this year as the past few years, but he’s still seen the field on special teams often.

The Chiefs have a bye this weekend.