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Five Falcons players named Pro Bowl alternates


Julio Jones and Grady Jarrett were the only two Falcons named to the Pro Bowl when the initial rosters were announced earlier this week, but five players have been named alternates in the event that some NFC players decline or are unable to attend.


Those five players are tight end Austin Hooper, linebacker Deion Jones, center Alex Mack, kick returner Kenjon Barner and longsnapper Josh Harris. Hooper, Jones and Mack have all been selected to the Pro Bowl in years past, but Barner and Harris have not yet earned that honor.

Hooper seemed well on his way towards making the Pro Bowl outright this season until a knee injury he sustained against the Saints in Week 10 cost him to miss three games. Despite missing those three contests, Hooper has already tied his career high in receiving yards with 660 and set a new career high for touchdown receptions with six. With two games remaining, this will likely go down as the best season of his career thus far.

Mack and Jones have continued to play at a high level this season, and their performances have been somewhat overshadowed by the team's poor record. Mack has been named to the Pro Bowl six times in his 11-year career and has earned four-straight invitations. Jones was named to the Pro Bowl after the 2017 season, and he's rebounded strongly after missing much of last season due to injury.

Barner has been a nice addition to the Falcons' roster this season as a return man and reserve running back. He has returned 13 kickoffs this season for 346 yards, an average of 26.6 yards per return, and fielded 30 punts for 244 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown return against the Carolina Panthers. Harris has been a mainstay as the Falcons' longsnapper since 2012. This season, he's worked with a number of different punters and kickers, continuing to perform reliably.

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