Philip Rivers heads a group of seven Chargers selected to play in the Pro Bowl
Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers and rookie safety Derwin James were among the league-high seven Chargers named to the AFC Pro Bowl team, as announced by the NFL on Tuesday night.
The 2019 Pro Bowl will be played in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 27, but players from the Super Bowl teams will not participate.
It marked the eighth Pro Bowl selection for Rivers, who has completed 310 of 447 passes for 3,951 yards, 31 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season and has a career-best 112.4 quarterback rating.
Also selected were center Mike Pouncey (fourth selection), running back Melvin Gordon (second), wide receiver Keenan Allen (second), defensive end Melvin Ingram (second) and safety Adrian Phillips (first).
James and Phillips (special teams) were named as starters. Three more Chargers — left tackle Russell Okung (first), cornerback Casey Hayward (second) and fullback Derek Watt (third) — were named Pro Bowl alternates.
One notable Pro Bowl omission from the playoff-bound Chargers (11-3) was slot cornerback Desmond King, who is considered one of the league’s best defensive backs.
James, the 17th overall pick in the 2018, is the first Chargers rookie voted to start the Pro Bowl since Shawne Merriman started at linebacker in the 2006 game. James leads the team with 93 tackles and 12 pass breakups. The former Florida State standout also has 3½ sacks, three interceptions and six quarterback hits.
Allen has a team-leading 88 catches for 1,074 yards and six touchdowns, marking the second straight season and third time in his career he has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark. He ranks fifth in the AFC in receptions and sixth in yards.
Despite missing four games because of injuries, Gordon has racked up 1,255 yards from scrimmage and a career-best 13 total touchdowns. He has rushed 153 times for 802 yards and nine scores and caught 44 passes for 453 yards and four scores.
Ingram has seven sacks, 39 total tackles, including eight for loss, 16 quarterback hits, one interception and one forced fumble. His 42 career sacks rank seventh in franchise history.
Phillips has been a versatile defender who has 58 tackles, one interception and eight pass breakups. He also leads the NFL with 15 special-teams tackles.
Pouncey, a former Miami Dolphins standout who signed with the Chargers last spring, has been a difference-maker on an offensive line that has been strong in both run-blocking and pass-protection.
Follow Mike DiGiovanna on Twitter @MikeDiGiovanna
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