Now that the 2024 NFL playoffs have officially kicked off, Notre Dame football fans can continue watching quite a few of their favorite players go head-to-head for the chance to play in the Super Bowl.
Of course, some players have already played and been eliminated, while still other fomer Fighting Irish stars are moving on. Check out everyone who has played or will be playing in the coming weeks.
The Cleveland Browns finished a storybook season with a blowout loss to the Houston Texans. The 2023 season was still the best the team has seen in years. More impressive for the Browns is that they had to start a number of different quarterbacks. Joe Flacco was the last, resurrecting a career that seemed over years ago. The fairytale ended Saturday in a 45-14 defeat.
Owusu-Koramoah did his best to try and keep playing. After a season that saw him rack up 101 tackles and 3.5 sacks, the linebacker record 9 tackles on Saturday. 4 of those were tackles for loss.
The Houston Texans spent most of the 2022 season competing for the 1st overrall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. This past season, the turnaround was remarkable as the Texans won the AFC South and then rolled to a first round win on Saturday, 45-14 over the Cleveland Browns.
Kurt Hinish followed up a solid 2023 season where he played in all 17 games and had 22 tackles by shining in the Texans first playoff game. The former Notre Dame football star had 3 tackles, a sack and a quarterback hit in Saturday's win.
The rookie center went from a 6th round-pick to starter for a playoff team. Unfortunately Patterson suffered through some injury problems. Patterson started the first six games, then started the Week 8 game and was shelved for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, that included the first round game against Cleveland.
Troy Pride didn't play a snap in the 2023 season. He spent the year on the Texans practice squad.
The Chiefs had a bit of an up and down season in 2023, though still managed to win the AFC West and finish 11-6 on the year. They looked as good as ever on Saturday as they took out the Miami Dolphins on a frigid Saturday night, 26-7.
Book didn't play on Saturday, mainly because he's not on the active roster. He was signed by the chiefs to a Futures contract. That means he'll get the chance to hook on with the Chiefs in 2024.
In his first season with the Chiefs, Tranquill amassed 79 tackles and 4.5 sacks. In the win over the Dolphins, he didn't have a huge impact but he did record 4 tackles in the 26-7 victory.
The Miami Dolphins spent most of the season as a kind of Jekyll and Hyde team. They either looked unstoppable, or quite beatable. On Saturday night, it was Jekyll as they were handled quite easily by the defending NFL champs.
Claypool was a mid-season addition to the Dolphins after things very much did not work out with the Chicago Bears. He wasn't much of a contributor this season for the Fins, catching 4 passes for 26 yards. He didn't play in the Wild Card Round game.
The 2021 second round pick out of the Notre Dame football program played in 16 games for the Dolphins this season and he did start on Saturday as well. While he didn't have a great season for Miami this year, it was solid enough.
Smythe is one of the reasons Notre Dame football considers itself Tight End U these days. While he's not a household name, he was third on the Dolphins in receptions this season. He had career highs in catches (35) and yards (366). Unfortunately for the Dolphins, he was a non-factor on Saturday, catching 3 passes for just 12 yards.
The Dallas Cowboys came on at the end of the year and finished with a 12-5 record, just barely missing a first round bye. Now they'll take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon. And two former Notre Dame stars will be playing in the big game.
Aubrey was one of the biggest surprises of the 2023 season. Not a former Notre Dame football player, but is did play for the Fighting Irish ... soccer team. Aubrey set a rookie record for most field goals made to start a career and finished 36-for-38 on the year.
Martin spent the 2023 season as a starting guard for one of the best teams in the NFL. He's likely going to play a big part, one way or another, in the Cowboys first playoff game on Sunday.
The Los Angeles Rams are a bit of an upstart playoff team. And there's a former Notre Dame football player that played a big part in that.
Kyren Williams absolutely exploded on the scene in 2023 after looking like an afterthought in 2022. Depsite missing four games with an ankle injury, Williams rushed for 1,144 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also caught 32 passes for 206 yards and another 3 TDs.
The former Irish receiver took a big step back in 2023. After posting a career high 39 catches last season, he had just 8 this year for 66 yards. He did find the endzone, but it seems unlikely he's going to be a factor in the playoffs.
The Detroit Lions are the upstart of the 2023 season, winning their first NFC North division title. They'll try not to be one and done when they take on the Rams on Sunday night.
The longsnapper won't be playing in the playoffs as he's on the practice squad for the Lions. He also didn't play in a game this season.
Like Daly, Joseph won't be seeing any action, but he's still got Lions pride as a member of the team's practice squad.
Okwara played in 16 games this past season, though he was far from an impact player. He finished the regular season with just 9 tackles, though he did have a sack.
Like Romeo, Julian played plenty in 2023, but he didn't get a ton of impact plays. Julian finished the regular season with 7 tackles and two sacks. It's unlikely his impact will be that much bigger on Sunday night.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the surprise teams of the 2023 season. At one point, things were so dire that they fired their offensive coordinator in the middle of the season. Then they finished 10-7 and got a wildcard slot. They'll take on the Buffalo Bills on Monday afternoon. Unless the game has to be moved again.
The former Notre Dame football wide receiver is in his second season with the Steelers after spending his first three with AFC North rival Baltimore. Boykin played in 17 games, though mostly on special teams as she had just 3 catches for 17 yards this season.
Elliot hasn't played in a game since 2021 and spent the entire 2023 season on the Steelers' practice squad. For now he's still there.
Like Elliot, Smith doesn't look like he'll be a factor for the Steelers. The former Notre Dame product is on the practice squad.
The Bucs are one of the other upstart playoff teams this year as they took a 9-8 record into a wild card spot. They'll be looking for a big upset on Monday night against the Eagles.
Hainsey spent this season as the starting center for the Bucs and will continue that role on Monday night. In fact, he's been the starter for the last two years and is becoming one of the better centers in the country.
The San Francisco 49ers are the top seed in the NFC. That means that they get this weekend off. When they do play next weekend there will be one former Notre Dame football player among them.
The former Notre Dame football guard has spent the last two years as a starter for one of the best teams in the NFC.
The Baltimore Ravens are the top seed in the AFC and have a bye week thanks to their NFL best 13-4 record. When they do take the field next week, one of the best defensive players in the NFL, who just happens to also be a former Notre Dame football player will do so with them.
Following up on a fantastic rookie season, Kyle Hamilton recorded more than 80 tackles and had four interceptions. He stands to be a pain fro whoever is going to play the Ravens in the first round.
Stanley has been one of the better offensive lineman in the league for quite a while. He's an earth mover that will once again be counted on to make room for Lamar Jackson.
Sam Mustipher is still trying to get to the level of his former Notre Dame football teammate in Stanley. Mustipher got 202 snaps in 2023 so there's a chance he could get some reserve playing time in the Ravens' playoff run.