UPDATED: The 49ers announced Monday morning that Joe Staley has accepted a spot on the NFC Pro Bowl team. He will replace Dallas offensive tackle Tyron Smith.
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Veteran 49ers left tackle Joe Staley is expected to benefit from the Philadelphia Eagles’ trip to the Super Bowl.
Staley, originally chosen as an alternate, is expected to be named to his sixth Pro Bowl to take the place of Eagles Pro Bowl tackle Lane Johnson.
The Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, Jan. 28, in Orlando, Florida. Members of the Super Bowl participant Eagles and New England Patriots will not play in the all-star game. The Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 38-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
The other Pro Bowl offensive tackles representing the NFC are Dallas’ Tyron Smith and Los Angeles’ Andrew Whitworth, who replaced Washington’s Trent Williams.
Staley got off to a rough start last season as the 49ers opened on a nine-game losing streak. The idea of his career coming to an end began to creep into his mind, he said recently on the 49ers Insider Podcast.
But Staley said he had a talk with coach Kyle Shanahan that got him refocused for the remainder of the season. The 49ers finished with a five-game win streak to finish with a 6-10 record, and Staley played well down the stretch.
“I’m so far gone from where I was in that moment early in the year that I’m just focused on next year and, hopefully, years after that,” said Staley, 33, an 11-year NFL veteran. “I feel like I can still play.
“I think this last half of the season I played some of the best football of my career. I feel very confident in what we’re doing schematically with the people surrounding us, and it shows in my own play.”
Staley would join fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who was the only 49ers player named to the Pro Bowl when the teams were announced last month.