Browns' Myles Garrett, Joel Bitonio, Nick Chubb selected to Pro Bowl
Three Browns players — defensive end Myles Garrett, left guard Joel Bitonio and running back Nick Chubb — were selected to the 2021 Pro Bowl team.
Garrett and Bitonio were voted in as starters.
The NFL announced the Pro Bowl rosters Monday night, and even though no all-star game will be held in January due to the COVID-19 pandemic, being named to the team is an honor.
The Browns, who are 10-4 for the first time since 1994, had two players voted to the Pro Bowl last season: Chubb and wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
Garrett and Chubb each earned the second Pro Bowl nod of their careers despite missing time this season. Garrett sat out two games because of a mid-November bout with COVID-19 from which he's still not fully recovered. Chubb missed four games after suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee on Oct. 4 against the Dallas Cowboys.
Bitonio made his third Pro Bowl, but this is his first outright selection. He had been chosen as an alternate twice previously, then played in the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement. He is the first Browns guard to make three consecutive Pro Bowls since Hall of Famer Gene Hickerson, who earned six consecutive nods (1966-71).
There are no Pro Bowl alternates this year because there won't be a game. That means Landry's streak of five consecutive Pro Bowls has been snapped.
Pro Bowl rosters are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group’s vote counts one-third toward determining the 88 all-star players. In fan voting, Garrett (244,899 votes) and Bitonio (153,553) finished first in the league at their positions.
“It’s always an honor and a humbling experience when you're recognized by your peers, NFL coaches and the fans,” Bitonio, the longest-tenured member of the Browns, said in a news release. “The Pro Bowl really is a team honor, especially for a lineman, and I know I wouldn’t have got this recognition without everyone else on the offensive line, everyone in that huddle and all of my teammates. I also want to thank the great fans of Cleveland who voted us.”
Garrett made the Pro Bowl in 2018, but he missed it last season after his infamous helmet swing onto the head of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph resulted in the NFL suspending him for the final six games of the year.
Despite missing two games with COVID-19 this season, Garrett is among the league leaders in strip-sacks (tied for first with four), fumble recoveries (tied for second with two), forced fumbles (tied for third with four) and sacks (tied for fifth with 11). He was also named the Browns 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year earlier this month.
“This Pro Bowl nod means so much more than an individual accolade,” Garrett said in the release. “This is due to the collective efforts of the Cleveland Browns organization and the city itself. The hard work and sacrifice of our front-line workers, city officials and so many others allowed us the opportunity to play football in front of our deserving fans in 2020. I am incredibly honored to be representing the Browns and the City of Cleveland in the Pro Bowl for the second time. I can’t wait to see where our hard work takes us next.”
Chubb ranks fifth in the NFL with 931 rushing yards and is tied for sixth with 10 rushing touchdowns, even though he missed four games with the knee injury. He's ranked second in the league with 11 rushes of 20-plus yards, and he’s fourth with 30 carries for 10 or more yards.
A Pro Bowl starter last year, Chubb is the first Browns running back to be named to the Pro Bowl in consecutive seasons since Mike Pruitt (1980-81).
“I’m really happy for Myles and Joel,” Chubb said in the release. “Everyone on the team plays a part in people being named to the Pro Bowl and I know we have lots of guys on our team that are deserving of this honor. For me, it’s all about the team, not individual honors. All of our goals are still out there in front of us and that’s what we are focused on.”
The Browns' Andy Janovich finished first among AFC fullbacks in fan voting (141,042), but he didn't make the Pro Bowl roster.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at email@example.com.