Arizona has three active former players still alive in the NFL playoffs with the AFC and NFC championship games played today, and another who is part of it all as a practice-squad member.
They include Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, whose team will host Minnesota in the NFC championship. The Vikings have former Arizona receiver Cayleb Jones on their practice squad.
Rob Gronkowski and Marquis Flowers of the New England Patriots will face the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC title game.
They are one step away from reaching the Super Bowl. The Wildcats have 45 player appearances in the Super Bowl, led by Glenn Parker and Tedy Bruschi each with five.
Gronkowski is going for his fourth Super Bowl appearance. Either Foles (who turned 29 on Saturday) or Jones are guaranteed to make their first trip to the Super Bowl. Flowers has never advanced to the Super Bowl as well.
Here are some social media reactions involving Foles, Jones, Gronkowski and Flowers:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NICK FOLES! The @Eagles quarterback turns 29 today. 🎉🎉 pic.twitter.com/cSBrmUBixW
— FOX 29 (@FOX29philly) January 20, 2018
Jones started his NFL career as an undrafted free agent with Philadelphia.
Going Back to Philly this weekend, it’s crazy how life comes full circle. Thank you God
— Cayleb S Jones (@CaylebJones) January 18, 2018
Confirmed: @RobGronkowski is tall. pic.twitter.com/oFX4gT8luk
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 18, 2018
✊🏾 I’m coming To meet Coach Sumlin https://t.co/0EBaCHzHfI
— Marquis Flowers (@MFlowers59) January 14, 2018
Jason Kelce says Nick Foles is even more confident this week after having a few weeks of real prep and practices to build chemistry with offensive teammates #FlyEaglesFly
— BeatTheVikings (@PHLPhillySports) January 21, 2018
The truth @stefondiggs pic.twitter.com/YIMzh1ciWp
— Cayleb S Jones (@CaylebJones) January 20, 2018
"Rob Gronkowski may be the single most unstoppable force in football"https://t.co/xl6qygffOf pic.twitter.com/S3LQOPjVUQ
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 21, 2018
That's 4.5 sacks in the last three games for Marquis Flowers. The Bengals really couldn't find a use for him?
— Jake Levin (@JakeLevin09) January 14, 2018
Nick Foles: "Meet me in the NFC Championship in a few years?"
Case Keenum: "K." pic.twitter.com/hpoRw0k5Rd
— ESPN (@espn) January 15, 2018
@CaylebJones I think I figured out where you dropped @Jay_wright4 hat 😆😆😆 #SKOL pic.twitter.com/2xzZ0M9gKZ
— Kyle Thorsen (@KyleThorsen) January 16, 2018
Unless the Eagles win the Super Bowl, an AZ HS Football alum is getting a ring.
Jaguars: William Poehls (Chandler)
Patriots: Marquis Flowers (Millennium)
Vikings: Everson Griffin (Agua Fria)
— ArizonaVarsity.com 🏈🏈🏈🏈 (@AZHSFB) January 20, 2018
Tom Brady has 7 Super Bowl starts.
Blake Bortles (2), Nick Foles (2) and Case Keenum (1) have five PLAYOFF starts combined#NFLPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/LI351qsEyd
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 21, 2018
Jones was the first to hug Stefon Diggs in last week’s historic touchdown reception.
🎥 #MinneapolisMiracle Sideline Cam#BringItHome pic.twitter.com/fRe9CZTlwt
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) January 15, 2018
.@RobGronkowski is good. pic.twitter.com/52pJj1Xhtk
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 17, 2018
Former #Bengals LB Marquis Flowers claims no defensive coordinator ever spoke to him in Cincinnati https://t.co/pFQu6phmmK
— Cincy Jungle (@CincyJungle) January 19, 2018
A Tale of Two QBs. @casekeenum7 or @NFoles_9: which QB will have the fairytale ending? pic.twitter.com/ZCBlT88F2c
— NFL GameDay (@NFLGameDay) January 21, 2018
Meet Cayleb Jones, the first person to huge Stefon Diggs after his miracle touchdown https://t.co/pDnK236wl6 pic.twitter.com/IuYMjsazRy
— 1500 ESPN (@1500ESPN) January 15, 2018
Most receiving TD in a player's first 8 seasons (including playoffs), all-time
1. Jerry Rice: 116
2. Randy Moss: 107
3. Rob Gronkowski: 86@NFLhistory @Patriots @RobGronkowski @JerryRice @RandyMoss @ProFootballHOF
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) January 18, 2018
Marquis Flowers was walking down the hall when the unthinkable happened – Matt Patricia approached him. Before this year, he doesn't remember an NFL defensive coordinator ever talking to him.
That convo led to a breakout year for the LB https://t.co/1TRpIDzqLr
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) January 18, 2018
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.