Jan. 22, 2012
BERKELEY - NFL running back Shane Vereen will give Cal a former player on a Super Bowl roster for the 11th straight season after his New England Patriots were a winner at home over the Baltimore Ravens, 23-20, in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday. New England will face the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sunday, Feb. 5. The Giants were a 20-17 overtime winner against the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday's NFC Championship Game.
Vereen was inactive for Sunday's win and also for the Patriots' first playoff game, a 45-10 victory at home over Denver on January 14. However, he is on the team's 53-player roster and still eligible to be activated for the Super Bowl. During the 2011 regular season, Vereen rushed 15 times for 57 yards and a touchdown in five games played off the bench.
Andre Carter is also on injured reserve for the Patriots and not eligible to be activated for the Super Bowl. Carter had a tremendous regular season in his first campaign with the Patriots and his 11th in the NFL in 2011. Carter registered 52 tackles, 12.0 tackles for loss, 10.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass defended while starting all 14 games before suffering a season-ending injury in a Week 15 game against Denver.
Nine former Golden Bears were on active rosters of NFL Playoff teams.
Thomas DeCoud and Tony Gonzalez were the first to be eliminated during the NFL's Wild Card Weekend as part of an Atlanta squad that suffered a 24-2 road loss to the Giants. DeCoud had nine tackles as a starter at free safety, while Gonzalez started at tight end and had four catches for 44 yards.
Brian De La Puente and Cameron Jordan of New Orleans were on a Saints' squad that was on the short end of a thrilling 36-32 loss at San Francisco on January 14. Jordan started on the defensive line and had six tackles to equal his regular-season high, while De La Puente was also a starter on the offensive line. The Saints won an opening round game, 45-28, over Detroit at home on January 6. De La Puente started on the offensive line, while Jordan played off the bench on the defensive line and contributed a tackle.
David Binn and Mike Mohamed were both on Denver's roster for the team's loss at New England on January 14. Binn, signed the day before the game, served as the Broncos' long snapper in his first regular season or playoff action since he was injured in the 2010 season opener while still with the San Diego Chargers. Binn played three games with San Diego in the 2011 preseason but was cut prior to the season opener by the team he spent 17 seasons with from 1994-2010. Mohamed was inactive for both the Broncos' playoff loss to the Patriots and a 29-23 overtime win at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers on January 8.
Defending Super Bowl champions Desmond Bishop and Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers had their season come to an end on January 15 when the Packers were defeated at home in the Divisional round by the Giants, 37-20, in their only playoff game. Rodgers was 26-of-46 for 264 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in the loss. He also led the Packers with 66 yards rushing on seven attempts but was sacked four times, fumbled once and had a quarterback rating of 78.5 that was lower than any he had during the regular season. Bishop contributed five tackles and a pass defended. Both players started.