Of course, Cardinals’ D.J. Humphries still wants to be voted to Pro Bowl
The coronavirus pandemic has changed up just about everything across the world, forcing everyone to adapt to the current situation at hand.
For sports to even have a chance to resume, drastic measures were taken to either limit or prohibit the amount of people and interactions within a stadium.
That, unfortunately, hasn’t stopped numerous games from being postponed, altered or canceled outright.
The 2021 NFL Pro Bowl wasn’t impervious to the affects of COVID-19.
Originally scheduled to be played Jan. 31 in Las Vegas, the all-star game was called off due to the pandemic. It marks the first time the Pro Bowl has been canceled since 1949.
Instead, the Pro Bowl will be played out on the EA Sports Madden NFL 21 video game, with Las Vegas getting the 2022 Pro Bowl.
The game may not take place physically, but that doesn’t mean the Pro Bowl isn’t still worth something to the players on the gridiron.
Especially to Cardinals tackle D.J. Humphries.
“Oh, 100%, I talk about it every year I don’t make the Pro Bowl about it being a popularity vote, but I definitely want to be with the popular kids,” Humphries said via Zoom on Tuesday. “I’m not going to act like I don’t. That would be huge for me.”
While Green Bay Packers tackle David Bakhtiari was in the lead at the position in the last voting announcement, Humphries has made a solid case for himself to be included in the Pro Bowl.
Per Pro Football Focus, Humphries is fifth among tackles with an 88.4 overall grade. However, as a run blocker, the tackle lands at the top of the ranking with a 91.1 grade.
Humphries has clearly improved in 2020 after posting a 64.5 overall grade last season, good enough for 46th among NFL tackles.
It’s translated to the team’s success this year.
After allowing 46 sacks through 13 games played last season, the Cardinals offensive line has allowed less than half that number in 2020 (21). Quarterback Kyler Murray has upped his numbers as well, improving on passing percentage (64 to 67%), yardage (3,060 to 3,231) and touchdowns (16 to 23) through the air.
The increased play down in the trenches has also helped Murray succeed as a runner this season, as he’s rushed for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns on 115 carries.
As a team, the Cardinals are fourth in the NFL in total yards (389.5) and rushing yards per game (151.2).
With the final NFC Wild Card spot currently in their grasp, the Cardinals could reach the postseason for the first time since 2015.
A Pro Bowl would make things that much sweeter for Humphries.
“All the guys that I’ve seen be successful in their life have gotten there by just going out and playing good football and sticking to that technique and playing at high level. That’s the only part of the deal that I can hold up.
“I’m just going to keep trying to do that and however it plays out it plays out. I definitely want to be one of the popular kids, don’t be confused.”
Fan voting for the upcoming Pro Bowl, which is done online, is open through Dec. 17. Players and coaches will cast their votes Dec. 18. A total of 88 players will be chosen, 44 each from the AFC and NFC.