New York Giants linebacker Olivier Vernon will replace injured Bears edge rusher Khalil Mack at the Pro Bowl.
Looks like another New York Giants star will be added to the NFC’s Pro Bowl roster this year.
On Thursday, the NFL announced that Giants linebacker Olivier Vernon will be headed to the Pro Bowl. Initially an alternate for the NFC, Vernon will now replace Bears edge rusher Khalil Mack. The Bears star will sit due to an undisclosed injury.
Vernon will be the third Giants player headed to the Pro Bowl. Rookie running back Saquon Barkley and kicker Aldrick Rosas will participate as well. The latter was named an AP All-Pro second team.
Giants LB Olivier Vernon has been named to the NFC Pro Bowl team as a replacement for injured Bears LB Khalil Mack.
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) January 10, 2019
It will be OV’s first career Pro Bowl. But while it’s a great honor, it’s surprising he even made it as an alternate to begin with.
The linebacker, just wrapping up his third season for Big Blue, did not have that great of a campaign at all. Dealing with injuries throughout the year, Vernon only played in 11 games for the Giants. In those 11 games he was only able to rack up 30 tackles (23 solo), one pass defended, one forced fumble and seven sacks. Not horrible, but there’s no way he’s the next best guy in the NFC for that position after Mack. Mack is on a much higher level playing-wise than Vernon has ever been on. Period.
Vernon may no longer be a Giant in the coming months either. Big Blue signed him to a five-year $85 million contract in 2016. However, he’s underperformed, to say the least. Through injuries and low production, he hasn’t looked like a stud linebacker who’s worth $85 million at all.
Nonetheless, it’s a great accomplishment for Vernon to make his first pro bowl. The Pro Bowl kicks off on Sunday Jan. 27 at 3:00 p.m. EST in Orlando, FL.