The lineups for the 2013 Pro Bowl were announced Wednesday night by the NFL. Only one Detroit Lions player was named to the roster, with wide receiver Calvin Johnson starting for the NFC side. Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh were both named as alternates in case of injury or teams reaching the Super Bowl. Suh was not included on the regular roster due to a prejudice against him for his aggressive style of play.
The exclusion of Suh from the Pro Bowl roster shouldn’t come as a surprise to the Lions star or fans of the Detroit team. Suh has been targeted by the league and other teams for his “dirty play”. Suh was fined earlier for an accidental kick to Houston Texans quarterback Matt Shaub’s groin area. Former NFL players Boomer Esiason and Warren Sapp also attacked Suh for his undisciplined style of play.
On the 2012 season, Suh has 34 tackles and seven sacks. In fact, Suh ranks second in the entire NFL for sacks by a defensive tackle. Getting the nod over Suh are Henry Melton (Chicago Bears), Justin Smith (San Francisco 49ers) and Gerald McCoy (Tampa Bay Buccaneers). Smith has 66 tackles on the season along with three sacks and a fumble recovery. Melton has 41 tackles, six sacks and two forced fumbles. McCoy has 30 tackles, five sacks, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.
I think Suh clearly got snubbed by voters, but I am not surprised. Suh was named a starter in 2011, but missed the game due to an injury. Suh could have 100 tackles and 20 sacks and he will never be named a starter again. The Lions defensive star is hated by players, fans and coaches. Despite the hatred, Suh actually has a chance to play in the annual All-Star game.
Smith has an elbow injury that has him ruled out of the 49ers last game of the season. The injury is also considered serious enough to keep him out of the NFL Playoffs. This means Suh will likely be the one playing for the NFC team in January. Melton also sat out two weeks with an injury.
Pro Bowl players are voted on by the players, fans and coaches. Each of the three segments make up one third of the vote. The Pro Bowl will be played one week before the Super Bowl. The game will be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 27th, 2013.