BEREA—Despite the Browns having won only three games, two players will be returning to the Pro Bowl in offensive lineman Joe Thomas and Alex Mack.
Thomas will make his ninth trip to the Pro Bowl, while Mack will be making his third trip.
Three other Browns were named as alternates and could end up in Hawaii, as well. Tight end Gary Barnidge, wide receiver Travis Benjamin and special teamer Johnson Bademosi could end up in Hawaii if those ahead of him are injured or unable to attend the game which will be played on Sunday January 31 in Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Players will be assigned to teams through a draft with team captains Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin.
Thomas tied the franchise record for Pro Bowl appearances, joining Browns legends Jim Brown (1957-65) and Lou Groza (1950-55, 1957-59). Last season, he became the first offensive lineman to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first eight seasons and joined a small group of NFL players at all positions who have accomplished the feat in the first nine.
“Jim Brown and Lou Groza are two of the greatest Browns of all time and the list of players who have been selected to the Pro Bowl their first nine seasons is a who’s who of NFL history,” Thomas said in a release from the team. “The neat thing about that list is that it spans many generations. To be included with names like those is pretty special and very humbling.”
Mack returns to the Pro Bowl after missing the last ten games of the 2014 season with a broken leg.
“It’s an honor to be voted to this year’s Pro Bowl, especially coming off of a season where I had to watch from the sidelines for the first time,” Mack said. “It was a lot of work during the offseason to come back from injury, but it was all worth it to be back on the field with my teammates. As a lineman, you depend on the man next to you, and I owe a lot of this honor to my teammates and coaches.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t had the success that we wanted this year, but I look forward to representing Cleveland and the Browns in Hawaii.”