Canadians and former CFL players participating in the NFL playoffs

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The NFL playoffs are finally here and 14 teams remain in the hunt to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy.

Among those in contention for the coveted prize are a number of players, coaches and front office contributors with ties to Canada and the CFL. Some call the great white north their home and native land, while others just stopped by for a visit on their pro football journey.

With Wild Card Weekend slated to kickoff on Saturday afternoon, here is a look at the Canadian connections in the NFL playoffs. Players and staff are listed alphabetically.

VPFO Kevin Abrams, New York Giants

A native of Toronto, Abrams has held a critical role in the Giants organization for 24 years. The former salary cap analyst lost his assistant general manager title in 2022 but remains with the team as their senior vice president of football operations and strategy.

DL Eli Ankou, Buffalo Bills

Now in his sixth NFL season, Ankou has played in 33 career games, making 43 tackles and 2.5 sacks. The native of Ottawa has yet to play this season and is currently on the practice squad injured list. He is a proud member of the Dokis First Nation.

K Taylor Bertolet, Los Angeles Chargers

A former member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats who connected on 67.6 percent of his kicks in 2021, Bertolet has dressed for two games this season with the Chargers. He has nailed all three of his field goal attempts and six extra points, but currently resides on the practice squad injured list.

S&C Joey Boese, Cincinnati Bengals

A 2004 West Division All-Star at defensive back, Boese played four seasons with the Calgary Stampeders. He is now in his fourth season as the Bengals’ strength & conditioning coach.

DL Brandin Bryant, Buffalo Bills

Bryant played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2018 and spent time with the Montreal Alouettes in 2019, dressing for 11 games and recording 12 tackles and two sacks. He has since found a home in Buffalo, playing in three games this season and recording two tackles as a call-up from the practice roster.

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Gary McCullough

OQC Henry Burris, Jacksonville Jaguars

Hall of Fame CFL quarterback Henry Burris had been hired by the B.C. Lions to work remotely with quarterback Nathan Rourke in 2022, but the Jaguars poached him to become the team’s offensive quality control coach. He is now in his third season on an NFL coaching staff, having previously spent two years in Chicago.

DB Tevaughn Campbell, Jacksonville Jaguars

The native of Scarborough, Ont. signed with the Jaguars in October following stints with the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders. He played five games for his new team and made three total tackles in a depth role.

DL Christian Covington, Los Angeles Chargers

The son of CFL Hall of Famer Grover Covington, Christian has played in 102 career NFL games and recorded 196 total tackles and 9.5 sacks. The Vancouver native notched 12 tackles in four games this year before going on injured reserve with a torn pec.

HC Brian Daboll, New York Giants

Though he was raised almost entirely in the United States, Daboll was born in Welland, Ontario. The first-year head coach is just the second Canadian to ever hold that job with an NFL franchise and the first since 1924.

OC Ken Dorsey, Buffalo Bills

A two-time Heisman finalist in college, Dorsey wrapped up his playing career in 2010 as a quarterback with the Toronto Argonauts. The 41-year-old now calls plays for one of the sport’s best players in Josh Allen.

Photo: courtesy: AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper

LB Sam Eguavoen, Miami Dolphins

The former Saskatchewan Roughrider is in his fourth season with the Dolphins and has played 66 career NFL games, but saw his role diminish in 2022. At 29 years old, he dressed for all 17 games and made four total tackles while playing primarily on special teams.

DL Neville Gallimore, Dallas Cowboys

A native of Ottawa, Gallimore has played 35 games for the Cowboys since being drafted in the third round in 2020. He dressed for 16 games as part of the defensive tackle rotation this season and finished with 33 tackles, a sack and a batted pass to his credit.

VPPP Ryan Grigson, Minnesota Vikings

The former general manager of the Indianapolis Colts currently serves as the senior vice president of player personnel for the Vikings. He finished his playing career as an offensive lineman with the Toronto Argonauts and got his first scouting job with the Saskatchewan Roughriders the next year.

DL Akiem Hicks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Everybody’s favourite honourary Canadian, Hicks has an American passport but played his college ball at the University of Regina. The 33-year-old has played in 149 career NFL games, racking up 409 tackles and 41.5 sacks. He has played in 11 games this year, adding 22 tackles and a sack to his tally.

DB Jevon Holland, Miami Dolphins

The son of former CFL defensive back John Robert Holland, Jevon was born in Coquitlam, B.C. and proudly reps the province with a B.C. Lions tatto. He is already a household name in his second NFL season, making 96 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, seven pass breakups, and two interceptions as a starter at safety.

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

AQBC Kerry Joseph, Seattle Seahawks

The 2007 CFL Most Outstanding Player is in his third year coaching with Seattle and his first as assistant quarterbacks coach, helping Geno Smith to a Pro Bowl season. The McNeese State product actually played four seasons at safety for the Seahawks from 1999 to 2002, before travelling north for a 12-year career throwing the ball.

DB Deane Leonard, Los Angeles Chargers

The Calgary native was a seventh-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and made the roster out of training camp, dressing for all 17 regular season games. He recorded five total tackles, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery, playing almost exclusively on special teams.

K Brett Maher, Dallas Cowboys

Back in Dallas for a third stint, Maher has been the team’s primary placekicker in all 17 games this season, connecting on 29-of-32 field goals with a long of 60 yards and 50-of-53 extra points. The 33-year-old spent time with the Bombers, Ticats, and Redblacks before establishing himself in the NFL.

WRC Tee Martin, Baltimore Ravens

Since finishing his professional quarterbacking journey with two unsuccessful seasons for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Martin has turned to coaching. After working his way up through the NCAA ranks, he’s been in charge of the Ravens’ receivers for the past two seasons.

LB Amen Ogbongbemiga, Los Angeles Chargers

The six-foot, 231-pound tackler returned for his second season with the Chargers after joining them as a free agent following the 2021 NFL Draft. Raised in Calgary, Ogbongbemiga made six total tackles over 17 games this season, playing primarily on special teams.

LB Ayo Oyelola, Jacksonville Jaguars

A Global player from the United Kingdom, Oyelola played one game for the Bombers in 2021 after spending the majority of the season on the practice roster. He was assigned to the Jaguars practice squad this season as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway program.

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/David Becker

REC Josh Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers

The native of Brampton, Ont. took on a more feature role in his second season with the Chargers, making 72 receptions for 769 yards and three touchdowns over 16 games with 11 starts. The former third-round draft pick fell just one catch shy of the all-time single-season record for a Canadian-born NFL player.

DPS Chris Rossetti, New York Giants

A native of Mississauga and former backup quarterback at the University of Guelph, Rossetti jumped to New York from Miami last offseason to become the Giants’ director of pro scouting. He began his career with the Toronto Argonauts, where he served as director of player personnel at just 24 years old.

ADPS Curtis Rukavina, Buffalo Bills

The second of two Guelph alumni from Mississauga currently serving as scouts in the NFL, Rukavina succeeded Rossetti as director of player personnel with the Argos. He has been with Buffalo since 2017 and was recently promoted to assistant director of pro scouting/free agency.

HC Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals

Bengals’ head coach Zac Taylor famously dressed for one game as a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers: the 2007 Grey Cup. He served as the third-string quarterback behind current Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie and fired Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

DPP Tim Terry, Kansas City Chiefs

Terry played eight games for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1999, helping the team win a Grey Cup championship. He’s since risen to become the director of player personnel/pro scouting for the perennial powerhouse Kansas City Chiefs.

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Julio Cortez

DL Brent Urban, Baltimore Ravens

The Mississauga, Ont. native dressed for 16 games this season in a backup roles, recording 21 total tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, and three knockdowns. Urban has dressed for 92 career games as a member of the Ravens, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, and Tennessee Titans.

OL Greg Van Roten, Buffalo Bills

A former member of the Toronto Argonauts who started 32 games over two seasons with the team, Van Roten has dressed for 93 career NFL games with the Packers, Panthers, Jets and now Bills. The 32-year-old has served primarily as a backup in 16 games this season, making four starts at guard.

DL Luiji Vilain, Minnesota Vikings

The 24-year-old went unselected in the 2022 NFL Draft but signed with the Vikings and made the team as an undrafted free agent. The Ottawa native dressed for three games this season and made four total tackles in a depth role.

OA Pat White, Los Angeles Chargers

A former college football sensation, White finished his playing career in 2014 as Edmonton’s short-yardage quarterback. He is now in his first season as an offensive assistant in LA.

DL Justin Zimmer, Miami Dolphins

Signed off the Buffalo Bills’ practice roster in November, Zimmer played five games for the Dolphins and registered one tackle before being placed on injured reserve. The 30-year-old played one game with the Montreal Alouettes in 2017, recording three tackles and a sack.