Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt, free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and special teamer Miles Killebrew were selected to the 2023 Pro Bowl, the NFL announced on Wednesday night. It’s the sixth consecutive year that Watt’s been named to the Pro Bowl, fourth for Fitzpatrick and first ever for Killebrew.
Watt has been named first-team All-Pro three times in his career, and will likely accomplish that feat again this year. Watt is also in the running for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, an award that he won in 2021.
Watt is currently tied for the NFL lead with 17 sacks. He’s led the league twice before in 2020 and 2021. If he ends up being the league sack leader in 2023, he will become the first player to lead the NFL in sacks three times. Watt is also tied for first in quarterback hits (33), tied for second in fumble recoveries (3), tied for fifth in forced fumbles (4) and tied for sixth in tackles for a loss (16). He joins only two other players with this stat line in a season, including his brother J.J. Watt, who won AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times, and Jared Allen.
Watt has recorded a sack in 12 of 16 games in 2023. He has averaged 0.93 sacks per game since he was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, which is the best in NFL history (minimum 100 games started). Watt currently hold the Steelers’ all-time sack record with 94.5. James Harrison (81.5 sacks) previously held the record until Watt broke it against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2 of this season.
Fitzpatrick has been hampered with injuries this season, missing a total of six games. He missed four games with a hamstring injury and has been out the past two with a knee injury. Fitzpatrick has also played through a broken hand, which he suffered in Week 13. Despite missing six games, Fitzpatrick is second on the team in tackles with 64 (43 solos). He hasn’t been able to produce splash plays like he did in 2022, however, as he doesn’t have a single interception and just one tackle for loss.
Killebrew, who’s a special teams captain, had a game-changing blocked punt that resulted in a safety in the Steelers’ Week 5 win over the Baltimore Ravens. He also had a partially blocked punt against the New England Patriots in Week 14. Killebrew has three blocked punts since joining the team in 2021, which is tied for the most among all teams, not just players, since that time.
Pro Bowl games roster choices are determined by the consensus vote of fans, players, and coaches. Only the fan votes are tabulated ahead of time.
The Pro Bowl Games will be held throughout the course of a week and will showcase 88 players’ talents in a new format that started in 2022. The AFC vs. NFC competition will be capped by a flag football game.
The games will be held on Feb. 1 and 4 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, in the week between the conference championship games and Super Bowl LVIII, which will take place on Feb. 11 in Las Vegas.
The Pro Bowl Games were held at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas last year, as well as the final Pro Bowl in 2022. Before that, it was held in Orlando from 2017-20.