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Landon Collins named starter at safety for NFC Pro Bowl team

The Giants’ star made the team for the second year in a row despite a nagging ankle injury.

Landon Collins #21 of the New York Giants

Landon Collins #21 of the New York Giants reacts during th game against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium on October 22, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo Credit: Mike Stobe

Landon Collins did not have the season he hoped for — personally or as a member of the Giants team — but it will end the same as last year’s. With a Pro Bowl nod.

Collins was named the NFC’s starter at strong safety for the second straight year. He was the only Giants player to receive the honor when the starters for the Jan. 28 game were announced on Tuesday evening.

No Jets were named to the AFC team but rookie safety Jamal Adams is a third alternate and quarterback Josh McCown a fifth alternate.

Collins, 23, leads the Giants and all NFL safeties with 98 tackles. He has two interceptions and four passes defensed, but no sacks. Last year, his breakout season, he had five interceptions, four sacks and 13 passes defensed.

An ankle injury that he suffered in Week 5 and has bothered him for most of 2017 helped to reduce his number of impact plays.

“I think my second half was better than my first half, because of my injury,” Collins said. “And I think I’ve played pretty good to get everybody’s attention and being one of the best in the game right now. I’m just humbled by it and grateful for it, going back-to-back times. It’s a blessing.”

Collins may not be alone. Defensive tackle Damon Harrison was named a fourth alternate. If enough players back out of the game, Harrison may be in line to make his Pro Bowl debut as one of the league’s top run-stuffers.

For now, though, it’s just Collins. And a small consolation to a 2-12 season.

“It’s definitely a mixed feeling, because I want all my guys to succeed, as a team and as a whole,” Collins said. “We all want to succeed and by me just doing it, it’s a good feeling. But at the same time a bad feeling, because I want everybody to be happy, not just myself.”

With Calvin Watkins

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