No Redskins Players Named To Initial Pro Bowl Rosters; Alternate Selections Possible
London Fletcher expressed hope early last week that after two consecutive selections to the Pro Bowl as an alternate, he’d be elected outright to participate in the NFL’s annual all-star game.
That didn’t happen. Instead, Fletcher, the Washington Redskins linebacker who leads the league with 163 tackles, will tentatively be staying stateside when the game is held Jan. 29 in Honolulu.
There were no Redskins players named to the initial 43-man NFC roster, though that does not prevent any from eventually making the trip. Because the game will be held the week before the Super Bowl for the third consecutive season, any players whose teams will be playing for the championship are not permitted to play.
Injuries and declined invitations can also lead to openings, which is how Fletcher made the team in each of the past two seasons. The last time the Redskins did not have a player appearing on any version of the roster was after the 1993 season; in addition to Washington, Buffalo, St. Louis and Tennessee did not have any players selected Tuesday.
“I mean, you think about it a little bit, but those things aren’t really in my control,” Fletcher said last week when asked about playing in the Pro Bowl. “I can’t vote for myself. Obviously, I played at a high level this year, just like I did in years past. I would be very fortunate to be able to get there, but it won’t be the end of the world for me.”
Fletcher, 36, was considered the Redskins’ best bet to make the initial rosters. In addition to his tackles, which are the most he’s had in a single season since the league officially began tracking the statistic in 2001, he also has two sacks, two interceptions and three forced fumbles.
San Francisco’s Patrick Willis and Chicago’s Brian Urlacher were selected to the team over Fletcher. Coaches, players and fans each have one-third say in the initial choices.
Fredericksburg native Jermon Bushrod, the New Orleans left tackle, will be making his first Pro Bowl appearance. Bushrod, a 2002 graduate of King George High School, was part of a Saints offensive line that allowed an NFC-low 24 sacks and 51 quarterback hits. He allowed only three sacks this season, his third as a starter and fifth after being selected in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Towson.
“For my hometown, for King George, I think it’s just awesome,” Bushrod said. “And coming out of Towson University, it means more for them than for [me].
“Would I have thought about this when I was coming out of high school? I did not. I’m just really blessed and humbled by the whole experience. Not many guys get the opportunity to play in the NFL and then in the Super Bowl, and then to get selected to play in the Pro Bowl is just incredible.”
Two players who left the Redskins after last season – New England defensive end Andre Carter and San Francisco cornerback Carlos Rogers – were selected to play in the game. Carter won’t; he tore a quadriceps on Dec. 18 against Denver and was placed on injured reserve, ending his season.
The 49ers had a conference-high eight players selected to the NFC team. Seven players will represent Green Bay, while Chicago and New Orleans will each send five players per team to Hawaii.
To view the current rosters, click here.