Tennessee football: Ranking former Vols in 2021-22 NFL Playoffs

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Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Kendal Vickers (93) against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since the 1990-91 season, the NFL Playoffs have expanded. They have gone from 12 to 14 teams, and that actually set the stage for four more Tennessee football players, two more on active rosters, to be participating in this year’s event. There are 13 players from UT on playoff rosters overall, eight of whom are on active rosters.

The five inactive players are Joshua Dobbs of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jason Croom of the Philadelphia Eagles, Alex Ellis of the Arizona Cardinals, Tyler Bray of the San Francisco 49ers and Josh Malone of the Green Bay Packers. Dobbs and Croom are on the injured/reserve list after getting hurt in the preseason. The rest are on practice squads.

With the Wild-Card Round set to begin on Saturday, let’s go ahead and dive in, looking at every other Vol in the postseason. They will be ranked by their potential impact throughout the period. This is a countdown of Tennessee football’s eight players on active NFL Playoff rosters.

8
Kendal Vickers
Defensive lineman Las Vegas Raiders

6’3″ 295 pounds

A theme on here will be the number of undrafted players making an impact. Ellis, Bray and Croom were already named. Kendal Vickers is another one. After going undrafted in 2018, Vickers had stints with the Steelers and Tennessee Titans but was cut by both. He then went to Canada and played for the Edmonton Eskimos before being discovered by the Las Vegas Raiders.

If this were last year, Vickers would be higher on the list. After all, he appeared in 15 games and started two of them. This year, he spent half the season on the practice squad before being promoted to the active roster, but he has still only played in two games.

Vickers is the least likely of any Tennessee football player in the playoffs to make an impact, but he was a dramatic development story when he played for the Vols, and he appears to be reaching that same narrative now in the pros. As a result, you can’t count him out completely. Vegas will visit the Cincinnati Bengals Saturday afternoon for their first game.

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