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The NFL has opened up voting for the 2022 Pro Bowl. Fans can now help select the players who earn spots in the annual exhibition game that purports to honor the league’s top players.
The prestige of the Pro Bowl has largely worn off, and the game itself is often an unwatchable exhibition of players socializing during plays and trying desperately to not do anything strenuous. But it’s still a big deal for players, a status symbol and often a contractual bonus trigger.
There aren’t likely to be many Detroit Lions representing the team in the Pro Bowl in Las Vegas next February. In fact, it’s hard to find more than one strong candidate currently wearing a Lions uniform.
Punter Jack Fox made it last year, and Fox is well on his way to earning a return to the Pro Bowl. Fox currently ranks fourth in gross yards per punt.
There were two other Lions who made it after last season, C Frank Ragnow and TE T.J. Hockenson. Ragnow would be a lock at center this year too, but he’s on injured reserve after toe surgery.
Hockenson is sixth in receiving yards amongst tight ends and tied for second in receptions at TE. His pace has cooled in the last couple of games. If he can produce a 100-yard effort or bolster the touchdown total, Hockenson could be in line for a return.
On the rest of the offense, rookie right tackle Penei Sewell stands the best chance. He’s performed very well at a position where a lot of the regular fixtures are not all having Pro Bowl-worthy seasons. Running back D’Andre Swift is outside the top 20 in rushing yards but his NFL-high receiving production for RBs gives him a chance.
That’s really about it for the viable Pro Bowl candidates for Detroit in 2021. There’s a chance another player or two could surge into consideration with a strong second half of the year, but that seems unlikely.