If you are a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, you may have wondered if their center Ted Karras is related to Alex Karras, the legendary former Lions defensive tackle and famous actor. The answer is yes, they are related. In fact, Ted Karras III is one of the many members of the Karras clan who have played in the NFL. Here is what you need to know about the family connection of the NFL players.
Ted Karras III: The latest Karras to play in the NFL
Ted Karras III was born on March 15, 1993 in Chicago, Illinois. He played college football at Illinois, where he was a four-year starter and a team captain. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He played for the Patriots from 2016 to 2019, winning two Super Bowl championships with them. He spent the 2020 season with the Miami Dolphins before returning to New England in 2021. On March 18, 2022, he signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Ted Karras III is a versatile and reliable offensive lineman who can play both guard and center. He has started 65 games in his career and has allowed just two sacks and committed three penalties in 2022. He is also one of the few players who have earned NFL championship rings with three different teams: the Bears, Washington and the Patriots.
Alex Karras: The Hall of Fame defensive tackle and famous actor
Alex Karras was born on July 15, 1935 in Gary, Indiana. He played college football at Iowa, where he was a two-time All-American and won the Outland Trophy as the best interior lineman in 1957. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 1958 NFL Draft. He played for the Lions from 1958 to 1970, except for one year when he was suspended for gambling on NFL games. He was named an AP All-Pro four times and racked up exactly 100 sacks in his career.
Alex Karras was also a successful actor after his retirement from football. He starred in movies such as Blazing Saddles, Victor Victoria and Against All Odds. He also played George Papadapolis, the adoptive father of Emmanuel Lewis’ character, on the popular sitcom Webster. He died on October 10, 2012 at the age of 77.
The other members of the Karras clan who played in the NFL
Ted Karras III and Alex Karras are not the only members of the Karras clan who played in the NFL. Altogether, five have played at the highest level, and three of them share the same name:
- Lou Karras (1950-52): He was a defensive lineman who played for three teams: the Redskins, Cardinals and Bears.
- Ted Karras Sr. (1958-66): He was an offensive lineman who played for four teams: the Steelers, Bears, Redskins and Lions. He won an NFL championship with the Bears in 1963.
- Ted Karras Jr. (1987): He was an offensive lineman who played for Washington as a replacement player during the players’ strike in 1987. He won a Super Bowl ring with them.
- Ted Karras III (2016-present): He is an offensive lineman who plays for the Bengals.
- Alex Karras (1958-70): He was a defensive lineman who played for the Lions.
The three elder Karras brothers made it to the NFL in part out of necessity. They needed a way to pay for college after their father died suddenly. They used football as a means to get an education and made it to the highest level.
The Karras clan is one of the most remarkable families in NFL history. They have produced five players who have played in different eras and positions. They have also won championships and awards with different teams. Ted Karras III and Alex Karras are related by blood and by passion for football.