Although the NFL will not officially announce replacement Pro Bowl players until after next weekend's conference championship games, it seems clear that Brian Orakpo is assured of a spot. He will replace either Clay Matthews of the Packers or Lance Briggs of the Bears since one of them will be playing in the Super Bowl on Feb. 6, precluding an appearance in Hawaii on Jan. 30.
Orakpo spoke with John Keim of the Washington Examiner about getting in. He didn't seem to be at all put off by getting in through the back door.
“I’ll take it,” Orakpo said. “I would love to have made it the first time around, but I’m two for two right now in the NFL and it can only get better."
Hit this link to read the rest of John's story on Orakpo.
A Bears victory on Sunday would also put London Fletcher in the Pro Bowl. Chicago's Brian Urlacher is one of the inside linebackers on the team so Fletcher, who moved up from second alternate to first alternate after the 49ers Patrick Willis dropped out after surgery.
DeAngelo Hall will have company for his trip to the Pro Bowl. It appears that Brian Orakpo will be joining him in Hawaii.
The Pro Bowl outside linebackers for the NFC are Clay Matthews of the Packers, DeMarcus Ware of the Cowboys, and Lance Briggs of the Bears. But after the playoff results of the weekend, either Matthews or Briggs won't be able to play in the game. That's because it is again on the Sunday in between the conference title games and the Super Bowl, so the participants in the Super Bowl won't play.
According to the Redskins' PR press release, Orakpo was named a first alternate for a Pro Bowl spot. Since a spot will be vacant, Orkapo should get the call.
Per the Redskins' coaches film grades, Orakpo had 8.5 sacks and 47 quarterback hurries in 2010. He made the Pro Bowl in 2009 as a rookie.
Update: I contacted Redskins PR via email and they will check with the league to see what Orakpo's status is.
London Fletcher, who perennially is on the list of Pro Bowl snubs, moved a step closer to making a trip to Hawaii in late January on Monday.
Patrick Willis, who had surgery on his right hand near the end of the season, has withdrawn from the all-star game. First alternate Jonathan Vilma of the Saints will take Willis' spot on the Pro Bowl roster.
According to the Redskins, Fletcher was a second alternate for the two inside linebacker spots. Vilma was the first alternate so that moves Fletcher to the position of being the next man up if another opening comes up.
Last year, Fletcher was in a similar position. Vilma was on the Pro Bowl squad and Fletcher was the first alternate. Since the Pro Bowl was played on the weekend in between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, players on the teams in the final game did not participate in the Pro Bowl and the first alternates went to Hawaii.
When Vilma's Saints advanced to the Super Bowl, Fletcher got his ticket to the Pro Bowl punched.
The Pro Bowl again is during the off week before the Super Bowl so the same thing would happen this year if the Saints can win some games on the road and advance to the game in Jerry World in Dallas. Fletcher also would play in the Pro Bowl if the Bears make it to the Super Bowl. Chicago's Brian Urlacher is the other inside linebacker on the NFC squad.