Tight end Greg Olsen, linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis and fullback Mike Tolbert have been selected to the 2017 Pro Bowl, the NFL announced Tuesday.
Kuechly has missed the past four games while recovering from a concussion, and though he cleared the protocol last week he did not play in Carolina’s “Monday Night Football” victory against Washington.
Coach Ron Rivera has said “we’ll see” in response to whether the team will decide to sit Kuechly for the rest of the season for health reasons. Kuechly has 102 tackles despite missing time, and it is his fourth Pro Bowl selection.
“I think a lot of it speaks to who he is as a man and the reputation he’s built for himself around the league as a classy competitor,” defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said. “He does things the right way and you see the respect that the opponent has for him. There’s seemingly a mutual respect for Luke and how he handles himself.”
Olsen’s third straight Pro Bowl selection might also come with a side of NFL history before he gets there. He is just 8 yards away from becoming the first NFL tight end to have 1,000 receiving yards in three consecutive seasons.
Davis’ selection is his second in two years, and Tolbert’s is his third in four years.
In 2016, as the Panthers went on their Super Bowl run, 10 players were selected.
“I wish our record was better because I know a few more of our guys would be under consideration,” Rivera said. “Guys like Kurt Coleman and K.K. (Short) most certainly would be in that conversation, and Trai (Turner) and Andrew Norwell. We’ve had a number of guys that have had tremendous seasons that deserve recognition.”
The Pro Bowl will be played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. (ESPN).