McLaurin leads four Commanders headed to Pro Bowl

McLaurin leads four Commanders headed to Pro Bowl

Four players from the Washington Commanders are headed to the Pro Bowl — the team’s most since 2016. 

Defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, punter Tress Way, safety Jeremy Reaves and wideout Terry McLaurin were among the Commanders’ selections when the NFL announced the rosters Wednesday evening.  All but McLaurin were named starters. 

The honor marks Allen’s second straight Pro Bowl berth. The defensive lineman is in the midst of another strong year in which he has recorded 7½ sacks, 17 quarterback hits, 16 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. The latter two statistics are career highs. 

Way also earned the second Pro Bowl berth of his career, his first since 2019. Thirty-two of Way’s 70 punts this season have landed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, making Way a valuable weapon for the Commanders who rely on a stout defense to keep teams out of the end zone. Way helps with that by putting the team often in favorable field position. 

The team’s biggest Pro Bowl surprise is Reaves — but well deserved, nonetheless. Reaves, an undrafted free agent in 2018, has emerged as a valuable special teams contributor and made the NFC Pro Bowl roster as a primary special teamer. He is the first Washington special teamer to make the event since Lorenzo Alexander in 2012. 

McLaurin, meanwhile, made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his four-year career. The 2019 third-rounder, Washington’s first wideout to be named to the Pro Bowl since Santana Moss in 2005, has 1,015 yards this year — marking his third straight 1,000-plus-yard season. McLaurin made the Pro Bowl as a reserve. 

Perhaps Washington’s biggest snub was defensive tackle Daron Payne, who has been dominant at the line of scrimmage with a career-high 8 ½ sacks. 

But Payne and defensive end Montez Sweat were named as first and second Pro Bowl alternates, respectively. 

The NFL is tweaking the Pro Bowl this season, getting rid of the traditional game to host a non-contact flag football game and skills competitions. The event, held Feb. 6 in Las Vegas, was rebranded to the “Pro Bowl Games.”