Gerald McCoy will have company at the Pro Bowl after all.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander is headed to his first NFL all-star game, an honor he earned in just his third season. The NFL revealed on Tuesday that Alexander, previously identified as a Pro Bowl alternate, had been added to the NFC roster to replace Seattle's Bobby Wagner, who will miss the game due to injury.
The 2018 Pro Bowl is scheduled for Sunday, January 28 at Camping World Stadium after a week of practice and other activities in Orlando.
Alexander joins McCoy as Buccaneer representatives in the all-star game, with the latter earning a sixth consecutive selection. They could eventually be joined by linebacker Lavonte David and tight end Cam Brate, who were also named Pro Bowl alternates in December.
View some of the top photos of LB Kwon Alexander from the 2017 season.
Despite missing most of the first five games of the season due to a hamstring injury, Alexander still amassed 97 tackles, finishing second on the team to David's 101. Alexander also contributed seven tackles for loss, three interceptions, four passes defensed and one forced fumble. Alexander's three interceptions tied for the most in the NFL among linebackers in 2017 and gave him six picks in 40 career games.
A fourth-round draft pick out of LSU in 2015, Alexander won the Buccaneers' starting middle linebacker job by opening day of his rookie season and quickly emerged as a rising star. He led the NFL in total tackles (145) and solo tackles (108) in 2016 and recorded three sacks in each of his first two campaigns. In the three years since he entered the NFL, Alexander has averaged 8.4 total tackles and 5.9 solo tackles per game, marks that rank sixth and seventh in the league, respectively, in that span.
Alexander is the only player in the NFL who has recorded at least 300 tackles, at least six sacks and at least six interceptions in the last three seasons combined.
Alexander is the seventh linebacker in Tampa Bay franchise history to earn a spot in the Pro Bowl, a list that includes David, his teammate of the last three years. Alexander is the first inside linebacker to be named to the all-star game since Shelton Quarles in 2002.