Cincinnati's Andy Dalton and Tyler Eifert (left to right) would prefer to be playing the week after the Pro Bowl.
Ross D. Franklin/AP
The broken thumb of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton may have cost him a chance at his third Pro Bowl, but Dalton is hoping to be playing the week after in Super Bowl 50.
Five Bengals were named to the Pro Bowl Tuesday night for the first time since 2005, with Dalton designated as a first alternate. Receiver A.J. Green became the first Bengals player to begin his career with five consecutive Pro Bowls while left tackle Andrew Whitworth was named for the second time. Tyler Eifert received his first invite as he leads all tight ends with 12 touchdowns.
On the defensive side, Geno Atkins was named to his fourth Pro Bowl, while nine-year veteran safety Reggie Nelson will make his first trip to Hawaii, unless Cincinnati’s season is still ongoing come Jan. 31. Nelson leads the league with eight interceptions.
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Dalton was third in the fan voting, according to Bengals.com, but the broken thumb he suffered in Week 14 came before players and coaches filled in their ballots, perhaps costing him some votes. Dalton, who is hoping to return for the postseason, told Bengals.com that he hopes none of his teammates have to make the trip to Hawaii since it would mean they will be in Santa Clara instead for the Super Bowl.
“Hopefully we’re playing a week later. So we’ll see what happens. You know you made it. The other times, it’s just that you got in because somebody else didn’t play. So it means more to actually make it. At the end of the day, you’re still playing the game regardless. But it’s a cool experience. To be voted in right off the bat means more.”
If the Bengals falter in the postseason, Dalton has a good chance of heading to Hawaii as a first alternate as does defensive end Carlos Dunlap, who is currently 7th in the NFL with 10 1/2 sacks. It would be Dunlap’s first Pro Bowl berth. Cedric Peerman was also named as a first alternate for his work on special teams. Cornerback Adam Jones is among the most notable snubs leaguewide. Chiefs rookie Marcus Peters was selected ahead of him.
The Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, Jan. 31 in Honolulu, Hawaii, a week before the Super Bowl.