Colts’ Ebron, Nelson make Pro Bowl; Luck doesn’t

Andrew Luck's remarkable 2018 season was not recognized with a Pro Bowl invitation.
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NEW YORK — Two Indianapolis Colts were named to the Pro Bowl, but quarterback Andrew Luck was not among them.

Tight end Eric Ebron and rookie guard Quenton Nelson will be on the AFC squad. But Luck, who has led the Colts into the playoff mix in a remarkable return from shoulder surgery that cost him all of last season, was not among the conference’s three quarterbacks.

Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, the Chargers’ Philip Rivers and New England’s Tom Brady will represent the AFC under center.

The Los Angeles Chargers placed seven players in the Pro Bowl, including safety Derwin James, one of six rookies across the league to make the game.

James, a first-round draft choice, will be joined on the AFC squad by Rivers, wide receiver Keenan Allen, running back Melvin Gordon, defensive end Melvin Ingram, center Mike Pouncey and special-teamer Adrian Phillips for the game, which will be played Jan. 27 in Orlando. James and Phillips are the only starters, though.

Rivers is a backup to Mahomes, one of 29 first-time Pro Bowlers. That, of course, includes all the rookies: Nelson, James, Giants running back Saquon Barkley, Seahawks punter Michael Dickson, Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay and Cleveland cornerback Denzel Wads. Lindsay is an undrafted player.

New Orleans, led by quarterback Drew Brees, Dallas and Chicago paced the NFC with five players each. Brees is the starter, backed up by Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and the RamsJared Goff.

Buffalo, Oakland and Tampa Bay had no Pro Bowl selections.

Pittsburgh and Kansas City each had six players chosen, including such first-timers as Steelers running back James Conner and Mahomes, both having breakthrough years.

Cleveland has a first overall draft choice in the game — not Baker Mayfield, but 2017 top pick Myles Garrett at defensive end.

“Football is a team game and you can’t do it on your own,” said Garrett, who leads the Browns with 12½ sacks. “I’m happy to be able to share this experience with Denzel because this honor is really a testament to our entire defense.”

Among the perennial AFC choices returning to the game are Houston defensive end J.J. Watt, Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown, Baltimore guard Marshal Yanda and safety Eric Weddle, Cincinnati defensive tackle Geno Atkins and Denver linebacker Von Miller.

For the NFC, frequent repeaters include Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones and center Alex Mack, Dallas tackle Tyron Smith, inside linebackers Luke Kuechly of Carolina and Bobby Wagner of Seattle, Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson, Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Bears linebacker Khalil Mack.

One of the newcomers, Chicago defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, sounded overwhelmed by the honor.

“I have played the game of football my entire life and this is the greatest accolade I’ve ever achieved,” he said.

There will be a brother combination at center for the AFC as Maurkice Pouncey of Pittsburgh is the starter ahead of Mike Pouncey.

The Jets, despite a 4-10 record, have three Pro Bowlers in safety Jamal Adams, kicker Jason Myers and return specialist Andre Roberts — all first-timers.

Pro Bowl coaching staffs will be from the losing teams in the AFC and NFC divisional playoffs with the best regular-season records. Each player on the winning Pro Bowl team receives $67,000, while each player on the losing squad earns $34,000.