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See a list of Latter-day Saints playing or coaching in the NFL playoffs

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Britain Covey has turned a lot of heads in the National Football League this season. Many didn’t expect him to make it this far.

The undersized wide receiver and punt returner signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as a undrafted free agent, was waived at the start of the season, then added to the practice squad.

After three weeks of being elevated from the practice squad to the active roster, the 5-foot-8, 173-pound Covey filled the last open roster spot and has remained as the team’s punt returner throughout the season. He has also helped out as the backup holder for field goals and PATs.

Fans mistook Covey for a kicker during training camp and stadium parking attendants at first didn’t allow him to park in the players’ lot because they didn’t believe he was a player, according to media reports.

Now the former University of Utah star and returned Latter-day Saint missionary will be in uniform when his Eagles, the NFC’s No. 1 seed, hosts the New York Giants Saturday in the NFC Divisional Playoffs on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. MST.

Covey is trying to approach the big game the same way as the others. He’s also following the example of the team’s veterans, he told Sports Illustrated Eagles Today.

“I’m glad we had the bye, right, but I always look toward kind of the veteran leaders in times like this,” the 25-year-old told SI Eagles Today. “I feel like I have all season before the first divisional game, before my first big Monday Night Football game. It’s just good to look at guys who have been there and done that to kind of model yourself after them and how they prepare.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Britain Covey (18) in action against New York Giants linebacker Tomon Fox (49) during the NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Philadelphia. | Chris Szagola, AP

“So for me, for example, just try not to psych myself out and just try to feed off the energy you feel in the locker room.”

The native of Provo, Utah, finished the regular season returning 33 punts for 308 yards. He did fumble twice, but neither resulted in a turnover. As a kick returner, Covey returned 10 kicks for 206 yards.

Covey served his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chile. He “reflects on the mission as the best two years of his life,” his Eagles’ bio says.

Latter-day Saints in the NFL playoffs

Covey is one of several Latter-day Saints who are playing or coaching in the NFL playoffs.

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid signals to his team during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid signals to his team during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023 in Kansas City, Mo. | Reed Hoffmann, AP
  • Darrell Bevell, Miami Dolphins: Bevell, who served a Latter-day Saint mission in Cleveland, Ohio, is the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for the Dolphins.
  • Alex Whittingham, Kansas City Chiefs: The son of University of Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham, is the defensive quality control coach for the Chiefs.
  • Drue Chrisman, Cincinnati Bengals: The punter from Ohio State, who grew up near Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium, signed with his hometown team as a free agent. He spent most of his first year on the practice squad before joining the active roster this season and averaging 47.8 yards per punt. Chrisman, a Latter-day Saint convert, proposed to his wife during halftime of a Buckeye spring game. The Bengals play the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at 1 p.m. MST.
  • Fred Warner, San Francisco 49ers: The former BYU linebacker’s 49ers defeated the Seattle Seahawks last week and advance to the NFC Divisional Playoff against the Dallas Cowboys, renewing an old rivalry. The two-time All-Pro linebacker has become the unquestioned leader of the San Francisco defense — the best defense in the NFL, according to ESPN.com.
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner (54) celebrates after an NFL wild card playoff football game.
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner (54) celebrates after an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Santa Clara, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. The 49ers won 41-23. | Josie Lepe, AP
  • Kyle Van Noy, Los Angeles Chargers: After winning two Super Bowls in New England, the former BYU linebacker played his first year in Los Angeles. Van Noy was part of the Patriot’s dramatic comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI and has now experienced the other side of a late-game rally in the Chargers’ brutal loss to Jacksonville. The story of how Van Noy was recruited to BYU, including his Latter-day Saint faith journey, was featured in a book titled, “The System,” by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian.

The injured reserve list

The practice squad

These Latter-day Saints are listed on their teams’ practice squads.

  • Safety Zayne Anderson, Kansas City Chiefs.
  • Tight end Matt Bushman, Kansas City Chiefs (mission in Santiago, Chile).
  • Offensive lineman James Empey, Miami Dolphins (mission in Lisbon, Portugal).
  • Linebacker Porter Gustin, Miami Dolphins.
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