A Guide to the 15 Vikings Connections in Playoffs This Weekend

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Four tremendous games are on the NFL docket this weekend as the league dwindles to the final four teams vying for a Super Bowl. Two games occur on Saturday, with two on Sunday.

Fifteen former Minnesota Vikings players and coaches are associated with playoff football on Saturday and Sunday, and these are those men.

A Guide to the 15 Vikings Connections in Playoffs This Weekend

Anthony Barr, LB (DAL)

A Guide to the 15 Vikings
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Tenure with Vikings: 2014-2021

Barr was the very first draft pick of the Mike Zimmer era in Minnesota and was the only player to align exactly with Zimmer’s tenure with the team.

The UCLA alumnus was a cap casualty in 2022, joining the Cowboys via free agency and firing up a 59.7 Pro Football Focus grade during Year One down in Dallas.

Eric Bieniemy, OC (KC)

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Tenure with Vikings: 2006-2010

The man who helped polish Adrian Peterson into a future Hall of Famer, Bieniemy has been Andy Reid’s trusty sidekick as offensive coordinator for five years.

He got his NFL coaching start in Minnesota, though.

Stefon Diggs, WR (BUF)

Bills receiver Stefon Diggs celebrates after his 49-yard pass for a touchdown in a 35-23 win over the Patriots. © JAMIE GERMANO / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Tenure with Vikings: 2015-2019

This guy is the reason the Vikings now employ Justin Jefferson.

Diggs wasn’t a fan of the Vikings run-first offense in 2019, so he forced his way out to the Buffalo Bills, a decision that worked marvelously for everybody involved. Diggs and his buddy Josh Allen seek a Super Bowl for a franchise Lombardi-starved, like the Vikings.

Christian Elliss, LB (PHI)

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Tenure with Vikings: A smidgen in 2021

The Vikings found Elliss via undrafted free agency in 2021 and kept him around for a few months. He’s now an Eagles special teamer.

Marcus Epps, S (PHI)

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Tenure with Vikings: about 7 Months in 2019

Epps played eight games for the Vikings in 2019 — the last time Minnesota won a playoff game — and skedaddled to Philadelphia midseason.

He’s a full-time starting safety for the Eagles.

Heath Farwell, ST Coach (JAX)

Jacksonville Jaguars special teams coordinator Heath Farwell and Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson come off the field together after Saturday night’s victory over the Chargers. The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Los Angeles Chargers in their first round playoff game Saturday, January 14, 2023 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. © Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Tenure with Vikings: 2005-2010

How about this guy? A special team stalwart of the Brad Childress era, Farwell is the Jaguars special teams coach.

Farwell played 71 games with the Vikings right when Adrian Peterson was rising to power.

Leslie Frazier, DC (BUF)

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Tenure with Vikings: 2007-2013

Frazier is only remembered in Vikings lore for his mostly-failed head coaching stint, but he was actually with Minnesota for seven years.

Now, his defense is rip-roaring in Buffalo, and he might even get another HC gig before it’s all said and done.

Linval Joseph, NT (PHI)

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Tenure with Vikings: 2014-2019

Remember when the Vikings died? It was 2020, right after Linval Joseph and his pals departed via free agency. The Vikings defense hasn’t recovered after Joseph, Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, Everson Griffen, etc., left.

Joseph latched onto the Eagles midseason in 2022 when injuries arose and now splits time with rookie Jordan Davis. That’s what The Big Goon does — makes an impact.

Jayron Kearse, S (DAL)

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Tenure with Vikings: 2016-2019

Kearse is a strange story of the Zimmer era. He habitually performed wonderfully, but it was as if the Vikings coaching staff didn’t realize it — or didn’t care.

He encountered off-the-field tomfoolery in Minneapolis, which perhaps led to his exodus.

Case Keenum, QB (BUF)

Backup QBs Are People, Too.
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Tenure with Vikings: 2017

This could probably be “no caption needed.”

Keenum took over the Vikings offense in 2017 when Sam Bradford was injured, and all Keenum did was lead Minnesota to an NFC Championship appearance. Not bad.

Keenum won’t play his weekend unless something happens to Josh Allen, but he is equipped to guide the ship if necessary. See: 2017.

T.Y. McGill, DT (SF)

Vikings Preseason Hero Now a Part of Top 5 NFL Defense
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Tenure with Vikings: 2021, 2022

McGill was a Vikings 2022 preseason hero. The man played like a madman in the 2022 preseason but didn’t survive summer roster cuts. He’s played 181 defensive snaps for the deadly 2022 49ers.

Jerick McKinnon, RB (KC)

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Tenure with Vikings: 2014-2017

Minnesota utilized McKinnon in various RB2 capacities from 2014 to 2017, a scatback of sorts who experienced playing time when injuries to Adrian Peterson and Dalvin Cook arose. And at the time, it seemed McKinnon had the talent to serve as a full-time RB1, mainly because of his speed.

In the Chiefs last five games of 2022, McKinnon chipped off 7 receiving touchdowns — yes, you read that right; a running back with 7 receiving touchdowns in 5 games — and became the go-to commodity for Andy Reid and Co. It won’t stop in the postseason.

Andre Patterson, DL Coach (NYG)

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Tenure with Vikings: 1998-1999, 2014-2021

Patterson left when Zimmer was fired a year ago and evidently joined the right franchise. The Giants beat the Vikings in Minneapolis last weekend, and New York advanced to the Divisional Round of the postseason, while Minnesota, well, did not.

Riley Patterson, K (JAX)

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Tenure with Vikings: about 4 Months in 2021

Patterson was a Vikings practice squad contingency plan when it felt like the Dan Bailey experience might go pear-shaped.

The Dan Bailey experience went pear-shaped.

Xavier Rhodes, CB (DAL)

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Tenure with Vikings: 2013-2019

Rhodes is technically on the Cowboys practice squad and may or may not play against the 49ers. But he played last weekend versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and snagged an interception.

At the peak of his powers in Minnesota, Rhodes was unstoppable.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).