Saquon Barkley, James Conner show respect to fellow Pro Bowler Phillip Lindsay

ORLANDO, Fla. — Phillip Lindsay won’t participate in this week’s Pro Bowl after suffering a late-season injury, but it was clear Thursday that Lindsay’s already earned the respect of his fellow Pro Bowlers.

That seems natural after Lindsay rushed for 1,037 yards, scored 10 total touchdowns and became the first undrafted offensive rookie in NFL history to make the Pro Bowl.

Saquon Barkley, the NFL’s rookie rushing leader, said he admires more than just the physical aspects of Lindsay’s game.

“He’s super fast — super fast and quick,” Barkley said. “But it’s not even the game part. Obviously, he’s a great player, but it’s just his story. He came from being undrafted to being at the Pro Bowl. How many people can say that? A lot of people can’t say that in their career. The fact that he was doubted to now being highly respected, I respect that.”

Barkley said he watched Lindsay play while he was at Colorado, but he didn’t realize until later that the player he watched was the same one who was entering the NFL.

“When we were in college I got to watch a little bit of him,” Barkley said. “He was at Colorado and I remember the game – it was USC or Washington — and he played really well. I didn’t realize it until he got to the draft and got to [the Broncos]. [I said], ‘Oh, that’s who I watched on TV.’ I always knew he was a talented player and now he’s showing the world.”

Steelers running back James Conner is another of the NFL’s best to take stock of the undrafted players.

“Man, just the ‘never-give-up’ mindset,” Conner said. “He could’ve [gotten] really discouraged from not being drafted and everything, but his will to know what type of player he is and never give up [is impressive]. Man, he’s performing great.”

And Conner didn’t seem to think Lindsay’s success would end anytime soon.

“I know a lot of teams are probably regretting not taking him,” Conner said, “but the Broncos got a good one.”

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