Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Redskins’ Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan and Brandon Scherff named to Pro Bowl

By Kimberley A. Martin

December 19, 2017

The Washington Redskins may not be playoff-bound, but two of their star players have earned trips to the Pro Bowl.

The NFL announced Tuesday that left tackle Trent Williams and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan were named starters for the NFC team for the annual all-star showcase in Orlando, while guard Brandon Scherff was named as a reserve. Cornerback Josh Norman and linebacker Zach Brown are alternates.

Last season, Williams, Kerrigan and Scherff were selected along with tight end Jordan Reed. It was the team’s highest total since five Redskins were selected in 2015.

Washington has had at least one Pro Bowl player on its roster during the past 24 seasons.

This marks the sixth Pro Bowl nod for Williams, who has earned the recognition every year since 2012. Williams is tied with Len Hauss and Chris Samuels for the fifth-most total selections in team history and is the seventh player in franchise history to earn at least six career Pro Bowl honors.

For much of the season, the 29-year-old offensive lineman has been hampered by a knee injury that will require surgery. Williams was inactive for the Redskins’ 20-15 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday — the fourth game he’s missed this season.

After the win, however, Gruden said he wasn’t yet ready to place his starting left tackle on injured reserve.

“If there is a 1 percent chance that Trent can play, I will leave him up,” he said. “… If he’s going to have surgery or something like that, then we’ll put him down. But if there’s a chance, then I will keep him up.”

Even so, with only two games remaining — and a coveted Pro Bowl selection now secured — the organization could decide to finally place Williams on injured reserve so he can undergo surgery sooner than later. But the veteran offensive lineman has maintained all along that his goal is to finish out the season with his teammates.

“I still think there’s some merit to me finishing out this season, regardless if we’re in playoff contention or not,” Williams said last month. “There’s still some outstanding opponents that I would like to go up against, like [Broncos pass rusher] Von Miller. …

“I always like going up against good opponents, because you get a measuring stick of who you are. … That’s my mind frame. I’m trying to make the best out of any situation.”

Although the defense (ranked 20th overall) has been inconsistent during the Redskins’ 6-8 season, Kerrigan remains a steady force. The linebacker, who was selected for the second straight year and third time is his career, leads the team with nine sacks.

Kerrigan is the first Redskins linebacker to earn back-to-back Pro Bowl honors since London Fletcher (2009-12).

Scherff, the fifth overall pick in 2015, is the first Redskins’ interior lineman to earn multiple Pro Bowl selections since Hall of Fame guard Russ Grimm’s streak of four consecutive Pro Bowl honors (1983-86).

Brown, the Redskins’ leading tackler (127), was named to the Pro Bowl last season after having a career year for the Buffalo Bills, finishing with 149 tackles (second most in the NFL), four sacks, four passes defensed and two fumbles forced. Though his numbers are down from a year ago, Brown (2½ sacks, two passes defensed) has played through Achilles’ tendon, toe, ankle and hip injuries in 13 games with the Redskins. The speedy linebacker missed his first game of the season Sunday.

Norman was an alternate last year, as well. His only Pro Bowl selection came in 2015.

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