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4 Philadelphia Eagles set to play in Pro Bowl: Why aren’t Brandon Brooks, Zach Ertz participating?

PennLive.com logo PennLive.com 1/26/2020 By Daniel Gallen, pennlive.com

The 2020 Pro Bowl kicks off Sunday afternoon in Orlando, Florida, after a week of light-hearted practice and competition, and there will be a sizable Philadelphia Eagles contingent on the field at Camping World Stadium.

The Eagles had five players voted onto the initial Pro Bowl roster, and one more player joined the festivities as an alternate. With a total of six Pro Bowlers, only the New Orleans Saints (eight) and Minnesota Vikings (eight) have more in the NFC, while the Baltimore Ravens (13) are the only AFC team with more.

The Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers all equaled the Eagles with six.

Here’s a look at how center Jason Kelce, right tackle Lane Johnson, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and long snapper Rick Lovato, plus non-participating tight end Zach Ertz and right guard Brandon Brooks, made their way to the Pro Bowl.

TE Zach Ertz

Ertz is a three-time Pro Bowler, and for the third year, he won’t participate in the exhibition contest. Ertz suffered rib and kidney injuries in Week 16, and it caused him to miss Week 17. He played through it in the playoff game, but he said it was a painful injury. He’s getting healthy after a season in which he caught 88 passes for 916 yards and six touchdowns. Ertz missed the Pro Bowl after the 2017 season because the Eagles were in the Super Bowl, and he sat out last year to let his body recover from the season.

Read more: Eagles at the Pro Bowl: Social media roundup from Orlando

RG Brandon Brooks

Brooks is also a three-time Pro Bowler who isn’t participating for the third straight season. Brooks suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 17 and had surgery shortly after. He missed the 2018 Pro Bowl because of the Super Bowl, and he missed last year’s because of his torn Achilles. Brooks was able to return from that torn Achilles by Week 1 and play at a high level last season. The Eagles rewarded him with a contract that makes him the highest-paid guard in the NFL, and he expects to be ready for next season.

Read more: Eagles roster review: Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert seem set to headline again in 2020

C Jason Kelce

Kelce made his third Pro Bowl and his third straight All-Pro team, but he earned both honors in the same season for the first time. Kelce started all 16 games and did not miss a snap in 2019, and he continued to play at a high level. He’s an anchor in the center of the offensive line, and he helps orchestrate the play of the talented group.

Read more: Eagles roster review: Changes loom at wide receiver this offseason after injury-plagued 2019

RT Lane Johnson

Johnson was a late addition as an alternate, and he’s the only right tackle on the NFC roster. It’s also Johnson’s third straight Pro Bowl nod, but it’s his second straight as an alternate. He told The Athletic he felt like he played better in 2019 than he did in 2017 when he earned All-Pro honors in addition to his first Pro Bowl mod.

Read more: Eagles mock draft: ESPN analyst adds an offensive weapon in first 2020 NFL Mock Draft

DT Fletcher Cox

By his own high standard, Cox had a down year in 2019 with only 3.5 sacks — his fewest since 2013 — and he spent the first month or so of the season playing himself into shape after undergoing offseason foot surgery. Cox was back to his old self at the end of the regular season, though, and he’s developed the deserved reputation as one of the NFL’s top interior defensive linemen.

Read more: Eagles roster review: Miles Sanders, Boston Scott stepped up as key offensive pieces

LS Rick Lovato

The NFL opened long snappers to Pro Bowl voting among their peers this year, and Lovato was rewarded with the nod. He’s been a steady presence for the Eagles special teams unit during the past three seasons, and the Eagles signed him to a contract extension that should help keep the core of their special teams unit together for the next half-decade.

Daniel Gallen covers the Philadelphia Eagles for PennLive. He can be reached at dgallen@pennlive.com. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Follow PennLive’s Philadelphia Eagles coverage on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

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