Bengals' Atkins added to Pro Bowl, replacing injured Suh
CINCINNATI (AP) Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins was added to the Pro Bowl on Friday as a replacement for the injured Ndamukong Suh of Detroit.
Atkins' third Pro Bowl selection gives the Bengals three players in the game. Receiver A.J. Green and punter Kevin Huber were voted in directly. This selection was the most surprising for Atkins, who is coming off a subpar season.
The lineman tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee midway through the 2013 season. He had a team-high six sacks at the time. Atkins wasn't cleared to fully work out until the second week of training camp and wasn't much of a factor in games until the middle of the season.
Before the injury, Atkins led all NFL interior linemen in sacks. He finished with only three sacks this season and 34 tackles.
Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said after the season that if Atkins can't get back to form, the Bengals need to find another tackle who can pressure the passer. The Bengals finished last in the league with 20 sacks and managed only one during a 26-10 loss to Indianapolis in the first round of the playoffs.
The Bengals have lost first-round playoff games in four consecutive seasons, an NFL record. They haven't won a playoff game since the 1990 season, the sixth-longest stretch of postseason futility in league history.
Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL