The Detroit Lions won't send any players directly to the Pro Bowl this year, but that doesn't mean all was lost.
Quarterback Jon Kitna, center Dominic Raiola, wide receiver Roy Williams, defensive tackle Shaun Rogers and linebacker Ernie Sims were all named as alternates. Should any named starter or Pro Bowl reserve miss the game due to injury (which happens frequently in today's 'no-risk' NFL), an alternate at the designated position will represent the team.
Williams went to the Pro Bowl as an alternate last year and was the Lions' lone representative.
If Raiola gets to go to the Pro Bowl, it would be particularly meaningful. He's from Honolulu and used to work the NFC locker room as a kid.
"It'd be awesome," Raiola said. "That's one of my goals before I leave, is to play at home."
Kitna said Raiola deserved to make the team outright. "If we had kept on winning, I'm sure he would have made it," Kitna said. "He's been our best player week in and week out on offense. I know one thing: The defensive players on the other team don't like playing against him.
"He should have made it for sure."