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'It was a shock to see that': Broncos vouch for teammates after Pro Bowl snubs

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Courtland Sutton didn't much want to talk on Wednesday about being left off the AFC's Pro Bowl roster.

What was your reaction to the Pro Bowl snub?

"It is what it is," Sutton said.

Were you surprised?

"It is what it is," Sutton said.

Would you still like to go if you make it off the alternate list and onto the game-day roster?

"It is what it is," Sutton said.

What it is — according to Sutton's teammates — is upsetting and a shock.

The second-year receiver tallied 63 catches for 1,019 yards and six touchdowns through 14 games. He is tied for the third-most receiving yards in the AFC by a wide receiver, and he's tallied half his touchdowns since Emmanuel Sanders was traded to the 49ers midway through the season.

And while Sutton declined to hash out the snub in the media, his teammates were willing to stand up for him.

"It's upsetting," quarterback Drew Lock said. "You've seen a guy work super-duper hard and make amazing plays and spectacular catches out on the field. I definitely think he deserves to be one of those guys without a doubt. I think at the same time, he'll use this as motivation to end up on it possibly next year."

Phillip Lindsay, who made the Pro Bowl last year as a rookie, said both Sutton and safety Justin Simmons deserved to make the cut. Von Miller, though, was the only Bronco to be named to the Pro Bowl. Sutton, Diontae Spencer and Kareem Jackson were named alternates. Simmons was left off the list completely.

"Him and Justin, it was a shock to see that," Lindsay said. "You can't do anything about it. I texted Courtland and I told him that no matter what, he's Pro Bowler. You go out there, you get double-coverage and you have 1,000 yards like that man did, you're a Pro Bowler. You don't have to have someone tag you [as that]. "That's just like someone saying they tag you and this is what you are. Nah. You go out there and you show it. That man's a Pro Bowler. He's an All-Pro and he is going to continue to show it. Justin has had a hell of a season. … I think he's leading in almost all the stats, but sometimes the ball doesn't roll your way and they're going to pick people who they want, but that's what it comes down to at times."

Sutton said it was "good to hear" from Lindsay in the wake of the news.

"He did what he did to get there," Sutton said. "He earned that right to have that. There are guys on this team who are playing at a high level, at a Pro Bowl level, that weren't able to get that accolade of being voted into the Pro Bowl. We know and we see it. Being around guys in here that are playing at that level, we see it and we get to be around those guys. When those votes come out, it is what it is.

"At the end of the day, we can't control it, we can't change it. People voted how they voted. Y'all saw the results."


As he approaches the final two games, Lock said he'll try to balance his gunslinger mentality with the necessity to avoid turnovers. Through three games, Lock has tossed three interceptions, and his pick against the Chiefs ended a scoring chance.

"I think the three picks I've thrown, I've definitely learned something from each of them to be able to take into next year," Lock said. "I think that one [against the Chiefs] was an easy case of, 'Let's just scramble for 5 yards and get out of bounds and stop the clock,' instead of trying to get it all back in one play. I think that was the big thing. … You're down by a couple of scores and you've got 'X' amount of minutes left in the fourth quarter. We don't need it all back right now. Let's figure out how to actually get the score instead of making the risky plays and possibly having them turn out bad, which is what happened with mine, to where I think that if I get put in that next situation like that, I'll completely handle it differently."

Lock, though, said he'll never completely change his approach. It's what has made him successful so far, and he'll aim to replicate his success in Denver.

"It's kind like being a three-point shooter," said Lock, describing what it means to be a gunslinger. "You can start the game 0-for-5, but I'm definitely going to shoot the sixth one. I'm going to throw a couple of picks here and there, but in my heart and in my gut, I know the couple of picks will turn into a couple of touchdowns. The good plays will outweigh the bad with being a gunslinger if you do it correctly. That's kind of what it means."


The Lions have lost 10 of their last 11 games, but Matt Patricia's team has been competitive in nearly every game.

Seven of Detroit's 10 losses this season have come by a single possession, and they've led in every game but two.

"They're a very competitive team," Head Coach Vic Fangio said Wednesday. "As you said, they've been in every game. Even last week's score ended up a little bit lopsided, but they were driving down one score with five minutes to go. They're throwing the ball extremely well. They were the fifth-ranked passing team in the league with [Matthew] Stafford. Since the other guys have come in, they've dropped to [eighth]. They're still throwing the ball very well. Expecting to get some running backs back this week, which will help their run game. They've been very good on offense all season."

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