Although it was a disappointing 2019 NFL season, the Los Angeles Rams were able to take solace in the fact that defensive tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey earned a trip to the Pro Bowl.
Both players are coming off stellar individual seasons and have become accustomed to taking part in the annual festivities. Unfortunately, it appears they will each look to get an early start on the recovery process this offseason.
Donald and Ramsey have opted to miss this year’s Pro Bowl in Orlando and will be replaced by a couple of members of the NFC North, via Stu Jackson of the team’s official website:
Per this report, Packers DT Kenny Clark is replacing Rams DT Aaron Donald at the Pro Bowl.
— Stu Jackson (@StuJRams) January 21, 2020
The decision comes as a crushing blow for fans that were hoping to have some representation in the Pro Bowl. Regardless, it is safe to assume that most would prefer for them to focus on getting healthy as opposed to risking further aggravation of any injuries by playing in a meaningless game.
After all, both Donald and Ramsey have become cornerstones for this franchise moving forward and the Rams will need to do what they can to protect the investments they have made. As a result, the offseason has officially started for these two household names.
Donald remained as one of the few bright spots of the 2019 campaign by registering a league-leading 20 tackles for loss, 24 quarterback hits and 12.5 sacks en route to his sixth straight Pro Bowl selection. Despite a down year by his extremely high standards, he remains as one of the frontrunners to take home his third consecutive NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
The Rams pieced together quite the trade package in order to acquire Ramsey provided some immediate return by finishing the year with 33 tackles, four passes defensed, one interception and a forced fumble while serving as their shutdown corner in the secondary. He missed the season finale against the Arizona Cardinals with a knee injury and it appears he is still working his way back to 100 percent.
Los Angeles is set to kick off a new era at SoFi Stadium in the 2020 NFL season and they will need Donald at Ramsey to be at full strength when the time comes, so this decision had to have been a no-brainer for both players.
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