7 Spurned 49ers Earn Second Chance As Pro Bowl Alternates

Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers

Getty Christian McCaffrey of the San Francisco 49ers.

After 15 weeks of actions, careful consideration within the league, and millions of fan votes from across the world, the San Francisco 49ers have six players, Talanoa Hufanga, Fred Warner, Nick Bosa, Kyle Juszczyk, George Kittle, and Trent Williams, who have been selected for the Pro Bowl. While that is great news for those six players, fans have already begun expressing outrage over the players who didn’t get in, specifically Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel, who were both Pro Bowlers and All-Pros during their last healthy seasons in 2019 and 2021, respectively.

Fortunately, NFL reporters like Nick Wagoner from ESPN have released the list of Pro Bowl Alternates, aka players who will get into the game if one of the players in front of them are unable to participate, and the Niners are even better represented on that list than the initial one, with seven players, Samuel, McCaffrey, Jake Brendel, Robbie Gould, Ray-Ray McCloud, Charvarius Ward, and Mitch Wishnowsky, in the proverbial.

For Brendel, McCloud, Ward, and Wishnowsky, this would mark their first appearance in the Pro Bowl should they get in, joining Hufanga in the first-timers club, whereas Samuel, McCaffrey, and Gould are all veterans of the Pro Bowl, with one appearance each to their respective credits. Unfortunately, if the 49ers make it to the Super Bowl, none of these players will be able to take part in the game, but considering San Francisco hasn’t been to the biggest game of the year since the 2019 season, that’s a small consolation towards the greater good.

Christian McCaffrey’s Initial Snub Wasn’t Due To Fan Voting

When news broke that McCaffrey wasn’t headed to the Pro Bowl, it confused more than a few fans scratching their heads, especially since more than 400,000 of them cast a vote his way.

According to Ian Rapoport, McCaffrey received 205,990 votes in the official fan vote, which makes him the top vote-getter among NFC running backs, the top vote-getter of all running backs over Derrick Henry of the AFC Tennessee Titans, and the ninth-highest votes getter in the NFL regardless of position, trailing Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts, Kyle Juszczyk, Tyreek Hill, Justin Jefferson, Travis Kelce, Nick Bosa, and Quinton Williams.

Currently ranking first among all running back in all purposes, years ahead of the rushers who did make the Pro Bowl, Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, and Miles Sanders, according to The Athletic’s David Lombardi, McCaffrey’s case for being a Pro Bowl alternate was incredibly compelling.

Jake Brendel’s 2022 Has Come Full Circle For The San Francisco 49ers

When Alex Mack retired from the NFL in June, it left the 49ers with a big question mark in the middle of their offensive line. Though that spot was initially filled by Brendel, a UCLA prospect who has been with the team since 2020, initially, the decision was questioned, as Brendel ranked among the worst centers in football, according to Pro Football Focus.

Fortunately, Brendel has really come into his own thanks to a steady string of on-the-job training and has since compiled a 64.4 offensive grade, which ranks 17th among centers within the Pro Football Focus grading system. Even if he’s no Mack, Brendel has gotten better as the season has progressed, and soon, he could join his former teammate as an NFL Pro Bowler.

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