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Jets' Sheldon Richardson to replace Buccaneers' Gerald McCoy at Pro Bowl

New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson is

New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson is seen during warmups before an NFL game against the Buffalo Bills in Detroit, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. Credit: AP / Paul Sancya

Sheldon Richardson is Pro Bowl-bound after all.

The Jets' second-year defensive lineman will replace the Bucs' Gerald McCoy, who is unable to play in the game because of injury.

"I'm elated," Richardson told the Jets' website. "It's an overwhelming feeling. It's the crème de la crème and I'm one of them. I'm glad I got in, not the way I wanted to, but I'm appreciative and most definitely thankful."

Richardson led the team with eight sacks and recorded 84 total tackles, but he was named a second alternate for the Pro Bowl.

"I want to say thanks to my defensive line, my defense, and most definitely my linebackers because they make me right. And thank you, Rex," Richardson said of former Jets coach Rex Ryan, who was introduced as the Bills' new coach Wednesday afternoon. "There's a lot of freedom in his defense for guys at my position to make plays, and I appreciate that for not putting shackles on me."

Center Nick Mangold was the only Jet selected to the Pro Bowl, which will be played Jan. 25 in Glendale, Arizona. Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Chris Ivory were selected as alternates.

Ryan said last month that he was shocked Richardson wasn't voted in. And, naturally, so was Richardson.

"I might have to break the record for me to get some recognition," Richardson said on Dec. 26, three weeks after sacking Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater three times. "I might have to get eight, break Derrick Thomas' record."

Richardson, the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year, also vowed that day never to miss another Pro Bowl again.

"I told you, I'm one of the best defensive linemen in the game. That's how I feel," he said. "I'm only getting better, baby."

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