Washington Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne joined the NFC roster for the Pro Bowl Games on Thursday.
The former Shades Valley High School and Alabama standout is the first injury replacement for this season’s all-star event.
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Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald will not be able to participate. Donald missed the final six games on Los Angeles’ schedule because of an ankle injury.
Payne becomes the 12th former Crimson Tide player selected for this season’s Pro Bowl Games. The others are:
· Washington Commanders defensive tackle Jonathan Allen
· Philadelphia Eagles guard Landon Dickerson
· Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs
· Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick
· Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry
· Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey
· Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts
· Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs
· New York Jets middle linebacker C.J. Mosley
· Denver Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II
· New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams
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The selection is the first for Payne.
For Dickerson, Hurts, Surtain and Williams, the Pro Bowl selection also is the first of their careers. Mosley has now been a Pro Bowl selection five times, Fitzpatrick, Henry and Humphrey three times apiece and Allen, Diggs and Jacobs twice each.
In his fifth NFL season, Payne reached career highs with 64 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, 20 quarterback hits and five pass breakups in 2022.
Payne led NFL defensive interior linemen in tackles for loss and NFC defensive interior linemen in sacks this season.
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In September, the NFL eliminated the Pro Bowl game and replaced it with the Pro Bowl Games, a skills competition and flag-football contest for the selected players. But the Pro Bowl all-star honor remains.
The choices made by fans, players and coaches counted one-third apiece toward determining the Pro Bowl Games rosters for the AFC and NFC teams.
The 7-on-7 flag football game featuring the Pro Bowl players will be held on Feb. 5 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas as the culmination of a multi-day AFC vs. NFC competition in which all-stars will demonstrate their football and non-football skills in a variety of competitions.
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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.
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