The Lions are 9-5 and looking to try to wrap up a division title with two more games to play, but none have apparently played well enough to find a spot in the Pro Bowl. The initial rosters were announced on Tuesday night and no players on the Detroit Lions were listed; four Lions, including Matthew Stafford and Matt Prater, were listed as alternates.
Although an invite to Pro Bowl is less and less of an event worth celebrating—even one of the Lions named as alternates, Darius Slay, has stated he has no interest in the game now that it has moved from Hawaii—there were at least a few players on special teams that were worth consideration. Both punter Sam Martin and kicker Matt Prater have had stellar years, with Martin racking up a net 43.9 yard punting average over 56 punts (19 landing inside the 20 yard line) and Prater making 30-33 field goals, 25-27 PATs and perfect on six kick attempts from beyond 50 yards.
Of the two, Martin probably comes as the bigger snub. He’s arguably one of the best punters this season. Instead, the NFC roster included Johnny Hekker from the Los Angeles Rams as punter. Matt Bryant of the Atlanta Falcons was named as the kicker.
While we wait to see whether any Lions will be called up as alternates, the team has its eyes on trying to make sure they’ll still be playing during that time of year. Besides, Darius Slay is right; Orlando is pretty boring next to Honolulu.
Lions as Pro Bowl alternates
- P Sam Martin
- K Matt Prater
- QB Matthew Stafford
- CB Darius Slay