Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman, Cameron Heyward will officially be at the 2023 Pro Bowl Games as he replaces Kansas City Chiefs Chris Jones.
After another elite season, he was wrongfully snubbed when the rosters were first released. He was listed as an alternate. This is how he will now be apart of the weekend.
With the Kansas City Chiefs advancing to the Super Bowl on Sunday night, Chris Jones won’t be able to participate. Jones is a favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year according to Missouri sports-books. He’ll be more focused on preparing to win his second ring. As a result, Heyward was officially announced as his replacement on Tuesday by the Steelers.
.@CamHeyward has been named to the Pro Bowl Games‼️
He’ll replace Chiefs DT Chris Jones.
📝: https://t.co/n45hpTmirM pic.twitter.com/IWhUixbRVU
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 31, 2023
In 17 games, Heyward’s 10.5 sacks were tied-for-17th in the 2022 regular season. That number was fifth-best amongst interior defensive linemen and third-best amongst AFC IDL. That was the second-best sack tally of his career, while he also tied his most QB hits in a season with 22.
Heyward continued to be a menace across the board, racking up four pass deflections, 14 tackles for loss, and 74 total tackles. He has established himself as one of the best defensive linemen of the past decade and also in team history. This appearance continues his streak of now six consecutive Pro Bowl appearances, very impressive for the veteran.
Now 33 years old, his future with the team has come up in the rumor mill since the end of the season. Quite frankly, defensive coordinator, Teryl Austin can’t afford to lose Heyward on his defensive front. Since Stephon Tuitt’s retirement, Heyward has been the stabilizing force on the defensive line.
The Steelers are looking for a bounce back season after they finished under .500 fir the first time in Mike Tomlin’s head coaching career. They will have some work to do with teams like the Bengals and Ravens ascending to the top.
It will be interesting to see if they will be favored to make the playoffs on Pennsylvania sports-books. Having Cam Heyward as long as possible could be key to their playoff hopes.