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Raiders could add more players in 2012 Pro Bowl

Currently the Raiders have three players in the 2012 Pro Bowl: defensive tackle Richard Seymour, punter Shane Lechler, and kicker Sebastian Janikowski. But they may not be the final list of Raiders who get a ticket to Hawaii next weekend.

The Raider Pro Bowl alternates are safety Tyvon Branch, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, running back Darren McFadden, and fullback Marcel Reece.

Kelly appears to have a double shot chance of making the squad as both the Patriots (Vince Wilfork) and Ravens (Haloti Ngata) have defensive tackles and therefore one of them will have to drop out. But ahead of Kelly among alternates is Geno Atkins of the Bengals. Atkins will take the slot when one of either Ngata or Wilfork heads to the Super Bowl.

Marcel Reece becomes the most likely Raider to head to the Pro Bowl. The only fullback on the AFC roster is Vonta Leach of the Ravens. That means if the Ravens win this weekend, Leach will be headed to Indianapolis and Reece should be headed to Hawaii. It is difficult to know for certain because the Raiders didn’t reveal which level alternate their players were. But Greg Jones is second alternate and no other players have been revealed as first alternate so I am betting Reece is the mystery first alternate.

The Ravens also have running back Ray Rice in the Pro Bowl but if he is replaced, it would be Chargers’ running back Ryan Mathews who gets the call. This leaves Darren McFadden without much of a shot at making the trip.

Unfortunately, Tyvon Branch’s only chance of making the team could be as an injury replacement. He would need Troy Polamalu to opt out of playing in the game due to injury or otherwise for him to have a shot. The unfortunate part is that Branch may be the most deserving of all the Raiders’ Pro Bowl alternates. He has been deserving for quite some time but lives in the shadow of Polamalu.

The other player not mentioned here who is very likely headed to Hawaii is long snapper Jon Condo. Each team is allowed a “need player.” Condo was added to the Pro Bowl roster in 2010 as the need player, and with Janikowski and Lechler both Pro Bowlers, it seems a lock that Condo will be there.

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