These former Washington players are one game away from Super Bowl LVII

These ex-Washington players are a game away from Super Bowl LVII originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Commanders are bound to qualify for the Super Bowl again at some point, right?

Actually, don't answer that.

While the response to that question is unknown, what is known is that Washington won't be showing up in the upcoming title bout in Arizona. Sorry there wasn't a SPOILER ALERT at the top of this story.

There are a few former members of the franchise, though, who once played for the club and have also logged snaps for one of the remaining teams during the 2022 season/playoffs. That list, of course, is topped by one very well-known name, but that very well-known name isn't alone in his quest to make it to Glendale.

Here's a list of those familiar (or, in a couple of cases, semi- or barely-familiar) faces you might see this weekend in the San Francisco-Philadelphia and Cincinnati-Kansas City showdowns...

Trent Williams (49ers)

The one that got away.

Or, perhaps more accurately, the one that got away because of an all-time example of player mismanagement.

Ever since departing the organization that drafted him, Williams has received even more recognition for his excellent on-field contributions because San Fran actually wins.

The guy should — and hopefully still will — end up in the Ring of Fame at FedEx Field. Yet in the meantime, he's looking for a ring to add to his NFL Hall of Fame résumé.

Josh Johnson (49ers)

Brock Purdy is the most intriguing player in the sport right now — but if he has to leave the lineup for any reason, it'll be Johnson who steps in to run Kyle Shanahan's offense.

One of Johnson's litany of stops was in Washington near the end of the 2018 season, when he started on three occasions and won one of them in a 16-13 affair in Jacksonville. Honestly, if the guy hasn't worn your uniform, are you even a real football operation?

The 36-year-old completed one pass and scrambled a couple of times in mop-up duty against the Bucs in early December, so he's barely eligible for this post. However, if something happens to Purdy, his importance will skyrocket.

Samaje Perine (Bengals)

Perine, who produced a career-best 603 rushing yards as a rookie for the then-Redskins in 2017 but quickly fell down the depth chart from there before being released prior to the 2019 campaign, has emerged as a sweet complement to Cincy's Joe Mixon.

In the Bengals' previous AFC Championship tilt with the Chiefs roughly 12 months ago, Perine scored on a 41-yard touchdown reception to spark a comeback for the visitors. In this past regular season, meanwhile, he ran for 394 yards, added 287 receiving yards and made six end-zone trips.

No, Perine is not No. 1 running back material, but he's a solid second threat, which is far more than most expected based on his early pro output.

Michael Burton (Chiefs)

And here's the most random man on the list.

Burton joined Washington in 2019 following the firing of Jay Gruden and installation of Bill Callahan as interim coach. Callahan, a famous proponent of pounding.the.rock., went out and signed Burton, a fullback, to help pave the way sporadically for Adrian Peterson.

Burton linked up with Kansas City in 2021 and has seen action on a handful of snaps per game with Patrick Mahomes and Co. In 2022, he registered seven touches across his 17 appearances.

As of publish, NBC Sports Washington has been unable to confirm that Callahan pushed the Browns to send a pair of first-rounders to the Chiefs to secure Burton's services ahead of the most recent trade deadline.

Others who are a part of the still-alive teams in one fashion or another (a.k.a on the 53, on injured reserve or on practice squad) but who either haven't played thus far or didn't actually play in Washington (or both): Keith Ismael (C-San Francisco), T.Y. McGill (DT-San Francisco), Zach Pascal (WR-Philadelphia), Tyrese Robinson (G-Philadelphia), Austin Reiter (C-Kansas City), Kendall Blanton (TE-Kansas City)