MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Eleven former West Virginia University football players will be playing for playoff positioning on Sunday.
It marks the final day of the NFL regular season, in what has been the longest regular season in NFL history to date.
A 17th game has given some of these players’ teams another chance to improve their playoff standings, or a chance to make the playoffs, when they wouldn’t have had that chance in prior years.
Here’s what is on the line for each former Mountaineer on this final Sunday of the NFL regular season.
Yodny Cajuste, OL New England Patriots
Cajuste and the Patriots will look to win the franchise’s latest AFC East title. In order to do so, New England (10-6) will have to defeat Adam Pankey’s Miami Dolphins, and will need the Buffalo Bills to lose to Trevon Wesco’s New York Jets.
If that scenario plays out, Cajuste and New England will win their division, and could finish as high as second in the AFC.
However, a Patriots loss or a Bills win locks New England into one of the three Wild Card spots.
Rasul Douglas, CB Green Bay Packers
Douglas has surely made a name for himself in Green Bay (13-3). Douglas has recorded five interceptions since first playing for the Packers in Week 6.
On this Sunday, though, Douglas and the Packers can relax. They’ve already clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
It’s just a matter of staying healthy, and then finding out who they will go up against in the second round of the playoffs.
Mark Glowinski, OL Indianapolis Colts
It’s a win-and-in scenario for Glowinski and the Colts (9-7) on Sunday.
Granted, Indianapolis can make the playoffs if a couple of other things happen. But by defeating Tavon Austin’s Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 18, the Colts can control their own playoff destiny.
If the Glowinski and the Colts can get past the Jags, they will be one of the three Wild Card teams in the AFC.
Indianapolis entered Sunday as the No. 6 seed in the AFC.
Karl Joseph, S Pittsburgh Steelers
The playoff picture isn’t as straight forward for Joseph and the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7-1).
First and foremost, the Steelers need to beat the rival Baltimore Ravens.
But not only that, they also need the aforementioned Colts to lose, and they need Sunday night’s Chargers-Raiders game to not end in a tie.
Joseph is currently listed on the Steelers practice squad.
Nick Kwiatkoski, LB Las Vegas Raiders
“Kwit” and the Raiders (9-7) can finish off what’s been an up-and-down regular season with a playoff berth by simply winning against the Chargers on Sunday night.
That’s the most straight-forward path to the playoffs for Las Vegas.
They could also sneak into the postseason with a tie against the Chargers, and a Colts loss. Or they could punch their ticket to the playoffs with the help of losses by both the Colts and Steelers.
Las Vegas enters Sunday on the outside of the playoff picture.
David Long, LB Tennessee Titans
The Titans (11-5) have already clinched a playoff berth, and a second-consecutive AFC South Division title.
Still on the line, though, is the conference’s top seed.
In order for Long and Tennessee to clinch that first-round bye, they need to beat the Houston Texans.
The top of the AFC is tight enough that Tennessee can finish anywhere from the No. 1 through the No. 4 seed in the playoffs.
Colton McKivitz, OL San Francisco 49ers
McKivitz and the 49ers (9-7) are looking to secure the final open playoff spot in the NFC.
With a win, San Francisco returns to the playoffs as the No. 6 seed in the conference.
They could back their way in with some help from the Saints, but the easiest way to get into the postseason is by beating the rival Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Quinton Spain, OL Cincinnati Bengals
Spain and Cincinnati (10-6) have already locked up the franchise’s first trip to the playoffs, and first division title, since 2015.
So what left is at stake for the Bengals? Playoff positioning.
Depending on the outcome of Cincinnati’s road game against Cleveland, and the outcomes of Buffalo’s and Tennessee’s contests, the Bengals could finish as high as the No. 2 seed in the AFC.
The Bengals, which hold the No. 3 seed in the conference heading into Sunday’s action, could finish anywhere from second through fourth place in the AFC playoff picture.
Kevin White, WR New Orleans Saints
On the practice squad, White won’t have any impact in Sunday’s game for the New Orleans Saints (8-8).
However, he will have a front-row seat to some potential late-season drama.
The Saints don’t control their own destiny.
In order the make the postseason, they first must beat the rival Falcons. They then need the 49ers to lose.
If both of those things happen, White and the Saints are headed to the playoffs as the seventh and final seed in the NFC.
Kyzir White, LB Los Angeles Chargers
White and the Chargers (9-7) are in control of their playoff fate.
A win, or a tie against Kwiatkoski’s Raiders, will secure a playoff spot for the Chargers.
A loss, however, knocks LA out of the playoff chase.
Given that White and company play in the final game of the regular season, they also could be the final team to clinch a spot in the postseason.
Daryl Worley, CB Baltimore Ravens
Not only can Worley and Baltimore (8-8) not win the division, but a win on Sunday does not guarantee a playoff berth.
Baltimore enters the final Sunday of the regular season as the No. 11 seed in the AFC, but still has a chance at the postseason.
In order to make the playoffs, the Ravens need to win, and then need three other teams to lose. Losses by the Colts, Chargers, and Dolphins would go a long way for Baltimore.
But a win by any of those teams, or a loss by the Ravens, would end their season.
The Ravens will look to get that big, season-ending win against the rival Steelers.