New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon has been named an NFL Pro Bowler for the fourth consecutive season.
Through 14 games, Judon has a career-high 14.5 sacks, becoming the fourth Patriot player with back-to-back 10-plus sack totals after recording 12.5 sacks in his first Patriots season last year. Pro Football Hall of Fame member Andre Tippett is the only Patriot to record more sacks in a season than Judon. Tippett recorded 18.5 sacks in 1984 and 16.5 sacks in 1985.
Judon trails San Francisco 49ers linebacker Nick Bosa by one sack for the NFL lead. Additionally, Judon has logged 50 tackles, three pass deflections, one fumble recovery, and one forced fumble.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick called Judon Wednesday night to pass along the news.
“I was excited. For things like this, you can’t take ’em for granted, even if you’ve been there before. Every year’s a new year, and every opportunity you get in the league, you earn,” Judon said about the phone call Thursday. “You just can’t take anything for granted in this league. There’s a lot of good players in this league, and just to be voted in between the fans and your peers and the coaches, you’re just very thankful for what you earn.”
Judon has now been a Patriots Pro Bowl representative in his first two seasons since signing as a free agent, but this year marks the first time since 2000 without multiple Patriots.
In response to a question about teammates who missed the Pro Bowl cut, Judon praised Kyle Dugger and Josh Uche.
“I believe a lot of people on our defense were worthy of consideration. I think him, Dug’s having a heck of a season,” Judon said. “They’re going to continue to play and they’re going to continue to progress. And I believe that they could be Pro Bowlers, All-Pros, very soon. Very soon. With work and time, they’re going to be wherever they want to be. Those guys just have to continue to work and continue to get better, and we’ll have a lot more.”
Assuming the Patriots do not make a cinderella run to the Super Bowl, Judon will head to Las Vegas for the inaugural NFL 2023 Pro Bowl Games on February 5th, 2022, for a series of skills competitions and an AFC vs. NFC flag football game at Allegiant Stadium.
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