For the fourth consecutive season, Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams has been selected to the Pro Bowl.
Williams, 27, was the only Redskins player selected for the game, which will take place on Jan. 31 in Honolulu. For the third year, the Pro Bowl will feature the unconferenced format. Rather than have an AFC and NFC team, Hall of Fame wide receivers Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin will draft their respective teams on Jan. 27.
Williams has started 13 of 14 games this season. He was inactive against the New York Jets as he recovered from a concussion, but other than, he has been his usual dependable self on the Redskins’ offensive line. He has played through various injuries this season and the sixth-year veteran’s leadership has been invaluable.
The Redskins have had to work through major injuries on the offensive line this season. Left guard Shawn Lauvao was placed on injured reserve after sustaining a lateral sprain in his left ankle in Week 3 against the New York Giants. Center Kory Lichtensteiger was placed on IR with a designation to return on Nov. 10 because of a disc-related injury that weakened his left shoulder.
Williams has helped bring together four first-year starters on the offensive line. Second-year left guard Spencer Long took over for Lauvao. Josh LeRibeus, a former left guard, has filled in at center. Rookie Brandon Scherff started at right guard this season after starring as a left tackle in his final two seasons at Iowa. Second-year right tackle Morgan Moses also emerged as a starter after starting one game in 2014.
“He’s been a great leader,” coach Jay Gruden said of Williams. “Guys have looked up to him. His work ethic has been outstanding. [Offensive line coach] Bill Callahan grinds those guys. He’s down there during every drill working with him. Obviously, Spencer and Scherff and Morgan, they all look up to him — and [offensive tackle Tom] Compton. When you’re the best player on the football team and you’re also working that hard, you earn a lot of respect from each guy — from everybody. It’s a great benefit for all the young guys to have Trent around.”
Tight end Jordan Reed was among the notable Redskins players not chosen to play in the game, though he and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan are among the top alternates, according to the team.
In his third year, Reed is enjoying a breakout season as the Redskins’ most reliable receiver. The 25-year-old has caught 74 passes for 778 yards and nine touchdowns — all career-high marks.
“It would be a dream come true,” Reed said when asked what it would mean to make the Pro Bowl. “I would be so happy.
“It’s always on my mind. That was one of my goals before the season started — to get to the Pro Bowl. Just to even be in that discussion is just a dream come true and a blessing.”
Kerrigan, selected to play in the Pro Bowl in 2012, has 8.5 sacks and has forced two fumbles this season.