You could complain that linebacker Zach Brown, still the NFL’s leading tackler after missing the Redskins’ game against the Cardinals on Sunday, should have been on the Pro Bowl roster instead of being named an alternate.
If you ask the Redskins players they might tell you than cornerback Kendall Fuller is having a Pro Bowl caliber season and that he was snubbed. There also is tremendous respect for what tackle Morgan Moses has done this year while battling through ankle injuries.
But the reality is that the Redskins got what they deserved when the Pro Bowl selections were announced on Tuesday night. OLB Ryan Kerrigan, OT Trent Williams, and G Brandon Scherff were named to the NFC roster for the game, which will be played in Orlando a week before the Super Bowl.
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All three were selected to play last year, and a few repeat appearances is what you get when you are 6-8. Had the Redskins pulled out a few games and remained in playoff contention throughout this month, they might have been able to get in a couple of first-time honorees such as Fuller and Moses. Maybe Brown, who was on the AFC Pro Bowl roster last year as a member of the Bills, would have been recognized.
The reality is that a team’s record and relevance have a lot to do with who makes the Pro Bowl, even though it is supposed to be an individual honor.
Anyone who follows the game with any degree of sophistication knows that the Pro Bowl roster is not a list of the best, most impactful players in the game. A lot of it comes down to name recognition and past selections. If you make it one year and you don’t screw up too badly the next year and your team doesn’t flame out, you’re probably in again the following year.
You could make a case that Moses, who has played at a high level and is the only Redskins offensive lineman to start every game, should make it over Williams, who has missed three games and has struggled at times due to his injured knee. Williams is unlikely to play but Moses wasn’t named as an alternate. CB Josh Norman is an alternate but even he might lobby for Fuller, who leads the team with four interceptions, to go if there is an opening on the roster.
Williams almost certainly will not play in the game as he will have surgery to repair his injured right knee shortly after the season ends. Scherff missed a couple of games with a knee injury so it would not be surprising if he bypassed the opportunity to spend a week in Orlando. He was selected but did not play last year due to an ankle injury. Kerrigan also skipped the festivities after being picked last year, citing a finger injury.
The Pro Bowl withdrawals happen at such a rate that players who are not even alternates end up getting a phone call so we could see Fuller and Moses, perhaps the most deserving Redskins and two players who likely would jump at the opportunity to play, going to Disney World in late January.