The Seahawks pulled Marshawn Lynch out of retirement this week after their backfield was depleted due to injuries, and it’s just in time for the playoffs. Then, news broke out of Houston that J.J. Watt, in all likelihood, will return from a torn pectoral injury just in time for the Texans’ playoff run.
Here’s a look at one player for 10 teams in playoff shape or pursuing a playoff push who would help with their respective postseason runs.
Patriots – Rob Gronkowski
Here’s one of the obvious ones. Gronk was a huge part of New England’s playoff runs and Super Bowl wins in recent memory.
Ravens – Steve Smith
Others may say Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, or Terrell Suggs, but Smith is slightly more realistic. The one spot that Baltimore could use “a little” help is receiver.
Saints – Mark Ingram
The former Saints and current Ravens running back is missed in New Orleans. Not to take anything away from Latavius Murray, but Ingram complemented Alvin Kamara better in prior seasons.
Titans – Brian Orakpo
While the defense is maintaining just as good as in seasons past, Orakpo’s vocal leadership would push that side of the ball and the entire team much more, especially in Sunday’s win-and-they’re-in game. These days, he’s busy making cupcakes with fellow former Titan, Michael Griffin. I also contemplated going with Delanie Walker, but Jonnu Smith and the tight ends have been pretty reliable with the exception of a crucial bobble in the end zone that was intercepted.
Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger
Again, others would probably say Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell, but imagine if Big Ben could’ve pulled a J.J. Watt. Mike Tomlin’s team is built like always: defensively. Roethlisberger and his playoff experience will definitely be missed for Pittsburgh if they make it in.
Packers – Clay Matthews
The current Rams linebacker was Green Bay’s defensive equivalent to Aaron Rodgers. The vocal leader who got the most out of the players around him, Matthews played a vital part in the team’s success, as well.
49ers – Jerry Rice
This is not my first choice, but all the memes on social media since Lynch returned to Seattle say Rice. I was thinking more along the lines of Navarro Bowman, but of course, this team doesn’t have many holes.
Bills – Kyle Williams
The five-time Pro Bowler retired after last season after 13 NFL seasons, all with the Bills. He, if anyone, deserves to be a part of the Bills’ upcoming playoff run.
Chiefs – Eric Berry
This five-time Pro Bowl defensive back and cancer survivor spent nine seasons in Kansas City. He was undoubtedly a fan favorite in K.C. and around the league for what he did on the field, as well as beating the odds stacked against him with such determination.
Eagles – Nick Foles
Over the last two seasons, Foles is 4-1 in the playoffs, none bigger than the Super Bowl win over Tom Brady and the Patriots in 2017. Carson Wentz, while he has a Super Bowl ring thanks in large part to Foles, has no in-game playoff experience, except to cheer his team on. Of course, Wentz did play a big part in getting the Eagles to the playoffs in the first place before getting injured late in the last two seasons.