Sports

Four Bills named to Pro Bowl, including first-time honorees Jordan Poyer, Mitch Morse

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, receiver Stefon Diggs, center Mitch Morse and safety Jordan Poyer were named to the AFC Pro Bowl Games team on Wednesday night.

Voting by fans, coaches and players counted a one-third apiece and the Bills have at least four Pro Bowlers for the second time in three years and the fifth time in 10 years.

Diggs was named to his third Pro Bowl (all with the Bills), Allen his second and Morse and Poyer, in their age-30 and age-31 seasons respectively, were named to their first Pro Bowl.

The 2023 Pro Bowl Games, in its inaugural season after the game was scrapped, will be held Feb. 5 in Las Vegas. Peyton Manning will “coach” the AFC team and Eli Manning will “coach” the NFC side. The event will include a skills challenge and an AFC vs. NFC flag football game.

Allen, who made his Pro Bowl debut in 2020, enters Saturday’s game at Chicago third in touchdown passes (30), fifth in passing yards (3,857) and eighth in passer rating (97.3). Among quarterbacks, he is fourth with 705 rushing yards (which ranks 22nd in the NFL).

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Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes was voted the starter and Allen and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow are the back-ups.

“Being a competitor and putting in so much work, you want that work to pay off,” Elam said. “(There) was a point when I was like, ‘Dang, this is discouraging.’ But then it was, ‘Maybe everything the coaches are doing is to test me and see how I respond.’ “

Diggs ranks third in the league in both receptions (99) and receiving yards (1,299) and is tied for third with 10 touchdown catches. He has six 100-yard receiving games and has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of his three seasons with the Bills.

Diggs and Miami’s Tyreek Hill are the starting receivers and are backed up by Las Vegas’ Davante Adams and Cincinnati’s Ja’Marr Chase.

Morse has started 12 of the Bills’ 14 games, missing the Week 3 loss at Miami (elbow) and the Week 11 win at Detroit (ankle). He has not practiced this week after sustaining a concussion in last week’s win over the Dolphins. In 708 offensive snaps, Morse has been called for only two enforced penalties. Kansas City’s Creed Humphrey is the AFC’s starting center.

Poyer, who is a free agent after the season, is tied for fifth in the league with four interceptions, including two in the Week 4 win at Baltimore, helping the Bills rally from a 20-3 deficit. The Bills are 10-0 in Poyer’s starts this year; he has missed one game apiece with foot and rib injuries and two with an elbow injury. His 53 tackles are tied for fifth on the Bills.

The other two AFC safeties are free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (Pittsburgh) and Derwin James (Los Angeles Chargers).

Several Bills players were listed as Pro Bowl alternates: First alternates – left tackle Dion Dawkins, tight end Dawson Knox and linebackers Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds; second alternates – left tackle Rodger Saffold and kicker Tyler Bass; fourth alternates – defensive end Greg Rousseau and defensive tackle Ed Oliver; special teamer Siran Neal is a fifth alternate.

Jordan Poyer talks about going to the playoffs after the Buffalo Bills beat the Miami Dolphins, 32-29, on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, at Highmark Stadium.


Harry Scull Jr.


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