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β–Έ Uncategorized β–Έ Played in an NFL playoff game, no career regular season games

Played in an NFL playoff game, no career regular season games

The NFL, unlike Major League Baseball or the NBA, has no roster deadline for playoff eligibility. Teams are allowed to sign free agents and practice squad players to the active roster and use those players in playoff games, even if those players never appeared on that team’s 53-man roster during the regular season.

This happens fairly often. In 2011, there were 9 such players, most notably David Binn, longtime Charger long snapper, who joined the Broncos just before their divisional round game with the Patriots. (Though the Broncos lost, Binn had a better day than another playoff-only long snapper did back in 2002.)   These players are usually signed when a team suffers multiple injuries at a single position; it is probably not a coincidence that NFL teams with players who only appeared for that team during the postseason are a combined 44-58 in those games. 

The 14 players in the table below are unique in that their only NFL game experience came during the postseason.

Played in an NFL playoff game, no career regular season games:

Player Team Season Round Result Pos Before/Notes/After
Edward Lee Detroit Lions 1982 NFC-FR WAS 31, DET 7 WR/KR On roster previous two weeks, but did not play.
Career-ending knee injury in 1983,
which led directly to his future career.
Vance Bedford St. Louis Cardinals 1982 NFC-FR GB 41, STL 16 CB On roster previous week, but did not play.
Activated after Roger Wehrli put on IR.
Spent 1983 with USFL’s Oklahoma Outlaws.
 Now Louisville’s defensive coordinator.
Anthony Spears Houston Oilers 1989 AFC-FR PIT 26, HOU 23 (OT) DE Signed off practice squad.
Activated after CB Richard Johnson was suspended 
for arguing with secondary coach Nick Saban.
Cut by 1990 Cowboys in training camp.
Cornell Thomas San Diego Chargers 1994 AFC-D SD 22, MIA 21 DE On roster entire season, but did not play.
On roster for rest of playoffs; cut in next preseason.
James Manley Minnesota Vikings 1996 NFC-FR DAL 40, MIN 15 NT 2nd round draft pick.
On roster entire season, but did not play.
Made 3 tackles in garbage time.
Cut after Week 1 in 1997.
Brandon Christenson Oakland Raiders 2002 AFC-C OAK 41, TEN 24 TE On roster for first playoff game, but did not play.
Tore Achilles in game.
On IR during Super Bowl,
as were fellow TE Marcus Williams and Roland Williams.
Jason Stewart Indianapolis Colts 2004 AFC-D NE 20, IND 3 DT Signed off practice squad.
Made one tackle.
Signed before Week 2 of following season,
but released after game.
Marcus Lawrence New York Giants 2005 NFC-FR CAR 23, NYG 0 LB Signed off practice squad.
Made a tackle on the opening kickoff.
Played for the Spokane Shock of the Arena League.
R.J. Cobbs New York Giants 2006 NFC-FR PHI 23, NYG 20 DB Signed off practice squad.
Activated after Corey Webster put on IR.
 Cut in offseason.
Gerard Ross Seattle Seahawks 2006 NFC-D CHI 27, SEA 24 (OT) DB Signed off practice squad.
The top three Seattle CB were injured.
Cut in following preseason.
Jamie Petrowski Tennessee Titans 2007 AFC-FR SD 17, TEN 6 TE Signed off practice squad.
Activated after Bo Scaife on IR.
On Colts’ roster Weeks 12-14 of 2008.
Nate Bussey New Orleans Saints 2011 NFC-FR NO 45, DET 28 LB Signed off practice squad.
Activated after two Saints LB were injured Week 17.
On roster following week; currently in training camp.
Chad Spann Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 AFC-FR DEN 29, PIT 23 (OT) RB Signed off practice squad.
Activated after both Rashard Mendenhall 
and Mewelde Moore were injured.
Cut in offseason; currently unsigned.
D’Andre Goodwin Denver Broncos 2011 AFC-D NE 45, DEN 10 WR Signed off practice squad.
Activated after Eric Decker injured.
Currently in training camp.

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One thought on “Played in an NFL playoff game, no career regular season games

  1. Injuries can be very damaging to a player's career, just like those people who had the chance to be a superstar in the big leagues if they didn't get injured. It's a good thing that they received compensation even if they were sitting on the bench for a year or so. Well, if they can’t play, at least they can share their knowledge, with other players, not just on the court but even outside the court as well.

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