Buffalo may not have been active participants in conference championship weekend, but a trio of Bills made headlines on the Monday after, as QB Tyrod Taylor, C Eric Wood and G Richie Incognito became late adds to the NFL’s Pro Bowl roster. Taylor was named to the league’s all-star game in place of Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton, who will be preparing for the Super Bowl along with center Ryan Kalili whom Wood will replace.
It was Incognito himself who actually broke the news that Wood would be headed to Hawaii via Twitter, congratulating his line-mate on the honor.
I would like to congratulate my teammate and brother @EWood70 on making his first Pro Bowl!! It is well deserved!!! Aloha Baby 😎🌴
— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) January 25, 2016
Shortly thereafter the Buffalo Bills’ sent out an official press release revealing that both Taylor and Wood headed to Hawaii. This will be each player’s first time appearing in the Pro Bowl.
Later on, Monday evening it was Incognito finding out that he too was going to join his offensive teammates in Hawaii, filling in as an injury replacement for Arizona Cardinals G Mike Iupati. For Incognito this will be the second Pro Bowl appearance of his career, also earning the honor in 2012 as a member of the Miami Dolphins. Of course in the year that followed the veteran guard was the center of a bullying scandal which eventually led to his unexpected departure from Miami. Back in August Incognito explained that after missing the entire 2014 season, he thought he’d never play in the NFL again. He’s certainly made the most of the second chance given to him by Rex Ryan and the Bills.
Wood returned a congratulations to his fellow lineman upon hearing he would be making the trip to Hawaii, as well.
Congrats @68INCOGNITO!! You deserve it and it’s going to be a heck of a week!
— Eric Wood (@EWood70) January 25, 2016
When the initial rosters were released back in December, RB LeSean McCoy was the only Bill to be selected to the Pro Bowl, but McCoy announced last week that he wouldn’t participate because of the knee injury he suffered in Week 15, which ended his season early. At that time Taylor, Wood and Incognito were all listed as alternates for the game.
In his first-year as a starting quarterback, Taylor turned some heads. His 99.4 passer rating ranked seventh in the NFL and was the second-best mark in Bills’ history behind only Jim Kelly’s 101.2 percentage, from 1990. Throughout the season Taylor played mostly mistake free football tossing just six interceptions. He also served as an essential part of the Buffalo’s league leading rushing attack, piling up a franchise record 568 yards scoring four touchdowns. Taylor is the first Bills’ quarterback to be invited to the Pro Bowl since Drew Bledsoe attended the game in 2002.
As for Wood and Incognito, they started all 16 games on Buffalo’s offensive line this past season and helped anchor a rushing attack that led the league in total yards (2,432) and yards per carry (4.78). They paved the way for three different Bills’ runners to accumulated more than 500 yards rushing this season, including Taylor, McCoy (895) and rookie RB Karlos Williams (517). Wood is the first center Buffalo will send to the Pro Bowl since Kent Hull in 1990, and Incognito the first guard since Ruben Brown in 2003.
2002 was the last time Buffalo sent four Pro Bowlers from the offensive side of the ball.
The 2016 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 31 and televised live on ESPN from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.