LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and punter Johnny Hekker have been selected to the NFL Pro Bowl, which will be played Jan. 29 in Orlando, Florida.
Both players were selected for the NFL’s annual all-star game for the third time in their careers.
Donald became the first Ram to be selected for the Pro Bowl for three consecutive years since receiver Torry Holt was selected five consecutive times from 2003-2007, when the team was based in St. Louis.
Donald is the first Rams defensive player to accomplish the feat since cornerback Jerry Gray was selected four consecutive times from 1986-89 when the team played at Anaheim Stadium.
“It’s definitely a big accomplishment,” said Donald, who is in his third year in the league. “Anytime you get rewarded for all the hard work you put into this game, you’re going to be happy about it.”
Hekker leads the NFL with a 46.2-yard net punting average. He has put a record-tying 46 punts inside the 20-yard line. Hekker, who is in his fifth season in the league, was also selected for the Pro Bowl in 2013 and 2015.
“I think it’s a huge honor. I’m so grateful to be playing under coach Fassel and with the rest of this special teams group that takes so much pride in what we do,” Hekker said, referring to John Fassel, the team’s special teams coordinator and interim coach. “And I really, really owe it to the other guys who go out there and make me look good on a consistent basis.”
The Pro Bowl selections, which were announced Tuesday, are determined by a consensus votes of fans, players and coaches, with each group’s vote counting one-third toward determining the 86 selections.
The Pro Bowl will return to the AFC versus NFC format after having the teams determined by a draft for the previous three seasons.
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