United Football League Players To Help NFL Teams During the Playoffs

Jordan Heck@@JordanHeckFFContributor IIIJanuary 6, 2011

Isaiah Trufant is just one of many UFL players trying to make an impact during the NFL playoffs.
Isaiah Trufant is just one of many UFL players trying to make an impact during the NFL playoffs.

The United Football League ended its second season back in November but the players involved in the league have continued to be successful on the field.

As the NFL season came to an end, many teams looked to the UFL to find players that could fill a void caused by injury or to replace replace players who were not performing up to expectations.

Although most players do not make an immediate impact when signed to an NFL roster, the opportunity is enough for a player to prove to coaches what they are made of.

One player who took advantage of their opportunity has been former Florida Tuskers running back Dominic Rhodes.

During the 2010 season, Rhodes set new UFL single-season records for rushing yards (547) and total touchdowns (10). His play on the field helped the Tuskers reach the championship game (they lost to Las Vegas) where Rhodes ran for 67 yards on 20 carries.

His former team, the Indianapolis Colts, saw that Rhodes could still play at a high level so they signed him to their roster in early December.

In the three games Rhodes played for the Colts he had 428 all-purpose yards. In a game against the Oakland Raiders, Rhodes fell just two yards shy of a 100-yard rushing performance.

When Rhodes first arrived to the Colts, they ranked dead last in running the football, so having a near 100-yard performance was very impressive for the former UFL player.

If the Colts look to make a run in the playoffs, they will need Rhodes to continue to produce.

Rhodes, however, is not the only player looking to make an impact for his team during the post-season. Another Tusker player, defensive end Eric Moore, has been a nice addition in New England.

As a member of the Tuskers, Moore had two sacks, 12 total tackles, two passes defended, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in just five games.

Since he has been with the Patriots, Moore compiled 14 total tackles and two sacks in four games (three starts). Moore was able to step up after the Patriots lost some players to injury on defense.

Not only are Rhodes and Moore going to be helpful towards their team down the stretch, so are many other players coming from the UFL.

The 2010 UFL Defensive Player of the Year, Isaiah Trufant, was signed by the New York Jets just a few weeks ago and was activated for their Week 17 game against the Buffalo Bills.

Trufant played cornerback for the Las Vegas Locomotives where he had four interceptions in his second UFL season. He was with the Locomotives during both championship seasons and he finally got his chance at the NFL level.

The Jets even named Trufant a captain for the final game of the season, where he recorded two special teams tackles.

The Jets also signed safety Emanuel Cook from the Hartford Colonials. Also from the Colonials, Gerard Lawson was signed to the Philadelphia Eagles active roster.

All of these players will be used in one way or another to help these playoff teams make a run for the Championship.

For most of these players, all they wanted was an opportunity to be in this position. Due to their play in the UFL, these NFL teams were able to find these players and make them contributors.