Pittsburgh Steelers’ free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has been elected to the 2023 Pro Bowl/Pro Bowl Games. The NFL officially announced its rosters for the upcoming Pro Bowl. He is one of two Steelers to make the roster, joining OLB T.J. Watt.
Pro Bowl alternates include OLB Alex Highsmith, DT Cameron Heyward, TE Pat Freiermuth, and FB Derek Watt.
Fitzpatrick has enjoyed a fine season, picking off four passes with one pick-six, coming back in Week One in an upset win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Among the most complete safeties in football, Fitzpatrick is an underrated tackler while an absolute playmaker in coverage with great range, instincts, and technique.
On the season, he’s recorded 74 total tackles with those four interceptions and nine pass deflections.
Just 26 years old and in only his fifth NFL season, this is the third Pro Bowl Fitzpatrick has made. He’s also made a pair of All-Pro teams and will have a shot to make his third when those rosters are announced in the coming weeks.
Watt is a curious selection given he missed most of the season with a pec injury. With four sacks on the season, he surprisingly got the nod over teammate Alex Highsmith, having a career year with 11 sacks. This is Watt’s 5th Pro Bowl selection. On the year, Watt has 29 tackles (five for a loss) with those four sacks, four pass deflections, a forced fumble, and an interception.
Though it feels a bit unusual given his injury, Watt is now just the sixth player in franchise history to make at least five Pro Bowls his first six years in the NFL, joining an incredible list of players.
Heyward has continued his strong play but misses out on making the initial ballot. Though it’s far down the road, a Pro Bowl miss could impact his Hall of Fame chances when it comes time to evaluate his resume. Like it or not, Pro Bowls matter. Freiermuth has enjoyed a breakout sophomore season but faced tough competition while Watt is a quality special teamer and has been effective in short-yardage situations this season.
Click here for the full and complete AFC rosters.
The 2023 Pro Bowl games will take place on February 5th in Las Vegas. There will be no game this season. Instead, it will be replaced by skill competition and mini-games that could make the more event fun than an actual scrimmage which drew negative reviews for its negative and boring outcomes.
The AFC will be coached by Peyton Manning while Eli Manning will man the NFC squad.