Eight teams remain. And between the active rosters, practice squads and injured reserve lists, so do a long line of past New England Patriots.
From waiver claims and trade acquisitions to draft picks and undrafted signings, their stints in Foxborough ranged from days to decades.
Let’s revisit the list heading into the NFL divisional round.
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT TENNESSEE TITANS: SATURDAY, 4:30 P.M. ET
- Mike Hilton, cornerback — 53-man roster
- Cody Hollister, wide receiver — practice squad
- Mason Kinsey, wide receiver — practice squad
- Ryan Izzo, tight end — 53-man roster
- Corey Levin, guard — 53-man roster
- Jordan Roos, guard — practice squad
There’s the likes of head coach Mike Vrabel, general manager Jon Robinson and director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort. But the meeting between the No. 4 seed and the No. 1 seed in the AFC also includes one player who had his card filled out by New England. That player is Izzo. The tight end out of Florida State arrived in the seventh round of the 2018 draft. He then departed last March in exchange for a seventh after notching a Super Bowl LIII ring as well as 19 receptions for 313 yards and one touchdown. Izzo agreed to sign to Tennessee’s active roster as the calendar turned to January after spending the regular season between two practice squads. The scout team is the capacity in which the Bengals’ Hilton and the Titans’ Hollister, Kinsey, Levin and Roos stopped by with the Patriots.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS: SATURDAY, 8:15 P.M. ET
- Jimmy Garoppolo, quarterback — 53-man roster
- Mohamed Sanu Sr., wide receiver — injured reserve
- Jordan Matthews, tight end — practice squad
- Jon Halapio, guard — practice squad
- Tavon Wilson, safety — injured reserve
- Robbie Gould, kicker — 53-man roster
- Ben Braden, guard — practice squad
- Corey Bojorquez, punter — 53-man roster
Retired wide receivers Wes Welker and Leonard Hankerson check in on the coaching staff of the No. 6 seed in the NFC. And between the 49ers’ active roster, practice squad and injured reserve, so do three former Patriots draft picks. Garoppolo under center and Halapio on the interior line were selected four rounds apart in 2014. Before them, Wilson in the secondary was selected at No. 48 overall in 2012. Also penning their first NFL contracts with New England were a pair of undrafted specialists now with San Francisco and Green Bay. Gould spent training camp behind Gillette Stadium in 2005 before becoming a Pro Bowl and All-Pro kicker elsewhere. And in 2018, Bojorquez went without a punt during his lone preseason as a Patriot before being claimed off waivers by an AFC East opponent.
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: SUNDAY, 3 P.M. ET
- Sony Michel, running back — 53-man roster
- Tom Brady, quarterback — 53-man roster
- Kenjon Barner, running back — practice squad
- Rob Gronkowski, tight end — 53-man roster
Since being traded to Los Angeles in exchange for fifth- and sixth-round draft capital last August, Michel has totaled 1,031 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns on 242 touches, including playoffs. The former No. 31 overall pick will now revisit the quarterback and tight end who were both on the field when he celebrated the lone touchdown of Super Bowl LIII against the Rams. Brady now stands with 85 playoff touchdown passes. And in last weekend’s wild card for the defending champions, the 44-year-old Buccaneer found Gronkowski for their 15th such connection in the end zone. It arrived after a regular season in which Brady led the league with 485 completions, 5,316 passing yards and 43 passing touchdowns.
BUFFALO BILLS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: SUNDAY, 6:30 P.M. ET
- Jake Kumerow, wide receiver — 53-man roster
- Josh Gordon, wide receiver — 53-man roster
- Joe Thuney, guard — 53-man roster
The staffs set to cross paths Sunday feature Mike Kafka, Greg Lewis, Brendan Daly, Rick Burkholder, Brian Daboll, Ryan Wendell and Leonard Johnson. And Kansas City’s roster features an ironman in Thuney, who reset the guard market with a five-year, $80 million contract carrying $31.89 million guaranteed at signing last March. The North Carolina State product had started all 80 games for New England after landing in the third round of the 2016 draft. He saw 5,486 offensive snaps in the regular season over that span. Second-team All-Pro and Patriots All-Decade honors were logged in the process. Thuney now stands on the AFC’s No. 2 seed alongside a 2018 Patriots trade acquisition in Gordon, who caught five passes for 32 yards and one touchdown during his initial campaign with Kansas City.