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Former Cats set to play in NFL playoffs

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Denver Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard helped lead his team to the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Denver Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard helped lead his team to the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
The 2012 NFL season was full of contributions from former Wildcats. From wide receiver to punter, offense and defense, former Kentucky football players were littered throughout the league and making impacts on NFL rosters.

As the 2012 regular season came to an end last weekend, several of those Wildcats will see their seasons prolonged in the 2013 NFL Playoffs as they look to help their team make a run to the Super Bowl.

With 15 former Wildcats on NFL teams - including those on practice squads - 10 of them play for teams participating in this year's playoffs. Myron Pryor, a defensive tackle for the New England Patriots, has not played this season due to an injury. Defensive end DeQuin Evans of the Cincinnati Bengals has not seen the field yet this year, but has been on the practice squad all season helping his team earn a Wildcard spot.

That leaves eight Wildcats likely to play a part in this year's postseason.

Denver Broncos (No. 1 seed AFC) - First round bye

The Denver Broncos boast the most Wildcats of any NFL roster with three: Wesley Woodyard, Jacob Tamme and Danny Trevathan. Woodyard, the leading tackler on one of the best defenses in the NFL, has racked up 114 tackles with 5.5 sacks to go along with three interceptions this season. He is the only player in the NFL that can claim those types of numbers. He may not be heading to this year's Pro Bowl, but he has been the anchor of the Denver defense riding an 11-game win streak. Oh, and with Peyton Manning on the other side of the ball, the Broncos might be on their way to their first Super Bowl since the 1998 season.

With Manning's decision to head West to Denver after his glory days in Indianapolis, former Wildcat and Colt Jacob Tamme followed his old quarterback to Colorado. In his first season with the Broncos, Tamme was one of Manning's favorite targets. He finished the season with 52 receptions (third on the team), 555 yards (third) and a pair of touchdowns. Tamme has been an instrumental weapon for Manning in his first season since returning from a neck injury that cost him his 2011 season that led to his release from the Colts.

Rookie linebacker Danny Trevathan has played a limited role for the Broncos this year, but he's getting to learn the game right behind Woodyard while helping out on special teams. Trevathan, after leading the Wildcats in tackles his senior season, picked up 33 tackles in 2012 (22 solo) and got his first career sack.

Green Bay Packers (No. 3 seed NFC) - vs. Minnesota, Sat. 8 p.m. ET

Another season, another playoff berth for the Green Bay Packers. But there's a good chance they don't make it back this season without the efforts of second-year receiver/special teams ace Randall Cobb and punter Tim Masthay.

Cobb had no sophomore slump in his second full season in the NFL. In fact, he was one of the most impactful players in the NFL this season, gaining 2,342 all-purpose yards, best in Packer history and 22nd in NFL history. And that was only in 15 games.

The Packers' leading receiver sat out the season finale in Minnesota with an injury. Averaging 156.13 all-purpose yards per contest, had Cobb played and reached his average, he would have finished with 2,498 all-purpose yards for the season. That mark would have been good for eighth all-time in an NFL season.

Cobb led Green Bay with 80 receptions and 954 receiving yards and was second with eight touchdowns.

Masthay had another solid season for the Packers in his third season. Playing on a team with such an efficient offense as Green Bay, Masthay's opportunities were limited. But he made the most out of them.

With 70 punts this season, Masthay averaged 43.5 yards per punt with just five touchbacks while landing 30 of those punts inside the 20 yard line. He also did a good job of limiting opportunities of the returners with opposing return men averaging just 7.5 yards per return, which is fifth best in the league.

Corey Peters - Atlanta Falcons Defensive Tackle - First round bye

Former Kentucky defensive tackle Corey Peters is in his third year in the NF and the Atlanta Falcons, who wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a 13-3 record this season.  It was a rough start for Peters who missed the first seven weeks of the season with a non-football injury. Peters started eight of the last 10 games for the Falcons posting 15 tackles with a forced fumble and will be a factor up the middle as a run stuffer in the playoffs.

John Conner - Cincinnati Bengals Fullback - at Houston, Sat. 4:30 p.m. ET

John Conner, or as he's affectionately known, "The Terminator," is in his third year in the league, but in his first with Bengals. Conner was drafted by the New York Jets, but an injury earlier this season led to him being waived by the team that drafted him. Though the Jets hoped to bring Conner back this season, the fullback explored his options and was picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals when their starting fullback was lost for the season with an injury of his own.

Conner was signed to a two-year deal and has played in the last two games for the Bengals during their playoff run. Yet to have a carry or reception in 2012, Conner is a blocking back that will be instrumental in getting the ground attack going for the Bengals as they look to win their first playoff game since 1990.

Winston Guy - Seattle Seahawks Safety - at Washington, Sun. 4:30 p.m. ET

It's been a tough rookie season for Winston Guy who has played in just two games this season for the Seattle Seahawks. Guy figured to get more playing time as the season progressed, but most of his playing time came on special teams during his two games. He recently returned from a four-game suspension and was reinstated to the active roster and could possibly make the active playoff roster when they take on the Washington Redskins in their first round matchup.

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