The Miami Dolphins had two defensive players originally selected to the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl, with defensive end Cameron Wake and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh picking up the honors. Now, the team has added two offensive players to the all-star even as wide receiver Jarvis Landry and running back Jay Ajayi were added as replacements.
The selection of Landry comes after a season in which he recorded 94 receptions for 1,136 yards with four touchdowns. His 94 receptions ranks second all-time in a single season for the Dolphins, trailing just his 110 receptions in 2015. He finished the year tenth in the league in receiving yards and is tied with Odell Beckham, Jr., for the NFL record for most receptions in a player’s first three-years in the league. Landry was also selected to the Pro Bowl last year.
Ajayi will make his first trip to the all-star game in his second season in the league. He finished the 2016 regular season with 1,272 yards on 261 carries, giving him a 4.9-yards-per-attempt average with eight touchdowns. Ajayi recorded three 200-yard rushing performances during the season, becoming the fourth player in league history to accomplish that feat. Two of those 200-yard performances came in back-to-back weeks, making him the fourth player to reach that mark as well. Ajayi’s Pro Bowl selection marks the first running selection for the Dolphins since Ronnie Brown in 2008.
This is the second time in team history Miami had a 1,000-yard runner and 1,000-yard receiver in the seam year and the sixth time in team history both a running back and a wide receiver were selected to the Pro Bowl in the same season. The other five times it happened, the selections were Paul Warfield and Larry Csonka each season from 1970 to 1974. Running back Mercury Morris was also selected to the 1971 to 1973 games.
Suh, who was selected for his fifth appearance in the Pro Bowl, finished 2016 with 72 tackles, five sacks, six passes defensed and one fumble recovery. Wake, also selected to the game for a fifth time, came back from an Achilles tear that ended his 2015 season after just seven games and finished 2016 with 29 tackles, one interception, two passes defensed, five forced fumbles, and 11.5 sacks - tied for sixth in the league.
The Dolphins had five Pro Bowl selections last year, when Landry, cornerback Brent Grimes, safety Reshad Jones, and tackle Branden Albert all participated in the game, while center Mike Pouncey was selected by could not play due to injury.
This year’s game returns to the traditional AFC versus NFC format after three years of “unconferenced,” fantasy-draft style of selections. The game will be held January 29 at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium.