Progress will be front on center on NFL sidelines when the playoffs commence.
As women coaching continues to open doors and make an impact within the NFL, history will be at hand as the postseason is set to kick off.
Six of the eight female coaches currently within league will be on the sidelines for playoff teams and for the first time in NFL chronicle, opposing playoff teams will have women’s coaches on their sidelines when the Washington Football Team hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday evening.
When Washington and Tampa Bay lock up on Saturday at 8:15 p.m., head coach Ron Rivera will have full-year coaching intern Jennifer King on the sideline, while the Buccaneers — the only team with two women coaches — have assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust and assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar.
Though she’s in her first full year with Washington, King is not new to making history, as she became the first Black woman to coach in the NFL and in Week 3 was part of the first league game to feature female coaches on opposing sidelines and a female official.
Joining King and official Sarah Thomas in that history-making game was Cleveland Browns chief of staff Callie Brownson. Brownson’s Browns will face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at 8:15 p.m. ET.
Chelsea Romero has helped the Los Angeles Rams return to the playoffs, where they’ll face the host Seattle Seahawks on Saturday at 4:40 p.m. ET. Romero is the team’s first strength and conditioning coach.
Cristi Bartlett is the seasonal assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Tennessee Titans, who host the Baltimore Ravens at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.
Also part of the playoff pushes for the Ravens and Chicago Bears have been Megan McLaughlin and Robyn Wilkey, respectively.
McLaughlin is the director of football operations for the Ravens. Wilkey is the executive assistant to head coach Matt Nagy for the Bears, who face the host New Orleans Saints at 4:40 p.m. ET Saturday.
Last season, 49ers offensive assistant Katie Sowers made history when she became the first woman and openly gay coach to coach in the Super Bowl. With a historic start to the first-ever Super Wild Card Weekend upcoming, Sowers might well have some company when the Super Bowl comes to Tampa in February.
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