When the original 2023 Pro Bowl nominations were passed out, the Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow was the team’s only recipient. But things took a happy turn on Sunday night when the Philadelphia Eagles beat the San Francisco 49ers for a trip to the Super Bowl.
Per NFL rules, with the Eagles headed to the big dance, their Pro Bowl-nominated players will not play in the Pro Bowl, thus opening eight spots for alternates.
Fortunately for Detroit, two of those spots will go to Lions players. With Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson and wide receiver A.J. Brown’s spots now open, the first NFC alternates for those roles are Penei Sewell and Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Sewell was largely regarded as a generational talent at tackle and by the end of his second year in the NFL, he has been considered the third-best tackle in NFL by offensive line experts. Not only was Sewell dominant in the trenches this season, the Lions often used him to pull, get out in space, and wreck people. He also got involved in the passing game this season, catching the game-sealing first down play to put the Vikings away in Week 14.
Speaking of passing game contributions, St. Brown caught 106 passes for 1,161 receiving yards and six touchdowns in 2023, both remarkable achievements for a second-year player. One of the main catalysts for Lions' offensive production, St. Brown is a building block for the new regime and someone who the Lions expect to make multiple Pro Bowls over his career in Detroit.
While Sewell and St. Brown are next in line for the Pro Bowl honors, there is still an outside chance either could decline the invitation. Keep an eye out for the Lions organization to make an announcement in the near future.
UPDATE: It is now official. Both are headed to the Pro Bowl games!