The Pro Bowl is marginalized to the point that it’s no longer a game of tackle footballHowever, players still care about being recognized for their excellence at their position.
You can see the evidence in this touching video. Washington Commanders Posted on Wednesday after the 2022-23 Pro Bowl rosters were announced. Rivera surprises each Commanders player with the good news that they have been awarded the honor.
Four commanders were present at the Pro Bowl: wide receiver Terry McLaurin, defensive lineman Jonathan AllenPunter Tress Way and safety/special-teamer Jeremy Reaves. The video was made even more poignant by the last player, who was clearly shocked and started to cry before embracing Rivera.
Understanding what Reaves did in order to reach the Pro Bowl will help you understand the emotion behind that clip.
Reaves, who had four seasons in South Alabama, was not selected for the 2018 NFL draft. Instead, he landed with The Philadelphia Eagles. He was eventually waived by Philly before the season began and signed with the Commanders’ practice team. He waited almost the entire season before making his NFL debut. Only in December did he get called up to the active team roster.
The next two seasons were déjà vu; Reaves was waived before the season, quickly signed to the practice squad and saw sporadic playing time late in the season. There are many such players in the NFL. However, very few ever get to play a meaningful role beyond three years.
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Reaves was finally added to the Commanders 53 man roster to begin this season. This is his first active roster break. Reaves has been on the field so far for a career high 86 percent special teams snaps. He is also a Pro Bowl selection which shows his ability to stand out.
Reaves, his mother Rose, died in November 2021, as all this was happening. As he told the Commanders’ websiteThat loss had a negative impact on his football game.
Reaves stated that her mom was my greatest fan. “She was always telling me, just be sure of myself…don’t try to do too much, do what you know you’re capable of. That’s how I came to that conclusion. It’s a calm feeling. I’m not out there worrying, nor am I out there too much.
Because of his long-standing relationship with his mother, stepping onto the field last season was a healing moment for him.
The safety stated that it was “probably the best thing for my, honestly.” “I need to keep going. My mom would be proud of me. Try to do my best every day. Honoring her in the best possible way was how I got through it all.
Reaves’ mother was naturally the first person Reaves thanked after hearing the news.
You can see why the majority of players were more excited about Reaves’s inclusion than they were.