OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A dozen Ravens came to work Dec. 18 as new Pro Bowl picks, but even first-time selections said they were more focused on the Cleveland Browns than any postseason all-star game.
The Ravens (12-2) visit Cleveland Dec. 22 to face the last team to beat the Browns and with a chance to secure the AFC’s No. 1 seeding and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Tight end Mark Andrews, one of the Ravens’ six first-time Pro Bowl honorees, said, “It’s exciting, and obviously extremely humbling. … This is a huge accomplishment and a big honor, but this wasn’t my end goal at the end of the year. My end goal was to win a Super Bowl, and hopefully we’re on our way.”
Other first-time honorees included quarterback Lamar Jackson, fullback Patrick Ricard, tackle Ronnie Stanley, linebacker Matthew Judon and cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
The Ravens’ repeat selections included guard Marshal Yanda (eighth selection), safety Earl Thomas (seventh), running back Mark Ingram (third), long snapper Morgan Cox (third), cornerback Marcus Peters (third) and kicker Justin Tucker (third).
The Ravens led the league with 12 Pro Bowl selections, matching the 1973 Dolphins for the most from one team named to the initial Pro Bowl roster.
“It really is a team honor,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “I know our guys feel that way about it. I feel that way about it. You take pride in it.”
Ricard, who joined Cox and Tucker as undrafted Ravens to make the Pro Bowl, said, “Obviously it’s a great honor and [I’m] very appreciative and very excited for it, but … I can’t really focus on it too much, because it really doesn’t matter. What matters is winning this game Sunday.
“At the same time, I have to cherish it because it is a big deal,” Ricard said. “Hats off to all my coaches who helped me get it, my coaches here, my teammates. Without them I couldn’t have done it. I mean, I didn’t play fullback since high school.”
A grateful Judon said his first call upon hearing the Pro Bowl news was to his pregnant wife.
“Our spouses go through this game with us,” Judon said. “Y’all obviously know how long and brutal and time-demanding that the season is. … It was pretty special. She cried for the both of us.”
JACKSON TIES RECORD WITH FIFTH WEEKLY HONOR: Lamar Jackson was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 15 after throwing for five touchdowns and breaking Michael Vick’s rushing record in the Ravens 42-21 win against the New York Jets. It is the fifth such honor this season for Jackson, who joins New England’s Tom Brady (2007) and Carolina’s Cam Newton (2015) as the only five-time honorees in a season.
Jackson leads the NFL with 33 touchdown passes, and the Jets game was his third five-touchdown game of the year. Early in that game, he broke Vick’s single-season record for rushing yardage by a quarterback, which was set at 1,039 in 2006. Jackson has 1,103 yards on 159 carries.
STANLEY RETURNS TO PRACTICE: Starting tackle Ronnie Stanley returned to practice Dec. 18, indicating he has cleared the concussion protocol and should be available when the Ravens face the Browns. Stanley missed the Ravens Week 15 win over the New York Jets after sustaining a concussion at Buffalo on Dec. 8. Linebacker Chris Board, who also missed the Jets game with a concussion, returned to practice as well.
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