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Bucs get shut out of the Pro Bowl

Not one member of the Bucs was named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday when the rosters for the Jan. 27 game in Orlando were released.
Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans is having the best year of his career, but was only voted as an alternate for the Pro Bowl Jan. 27 in Orlando.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans is having the best year of his career, but was only voted as an alternate for the Pro Bowl Jan. 27 in Orlando. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Published Dec. 19, 2018
Updated Dec. 19, 2018

TAMPA —Mike Evans has set a career-high with this season with 1,328 receiving yards. With two games to play, he is only 94 yards shy of setting the Bucs' single-season receiving yards record held for 29 years.

Jason Pierre-Paul has 11.5 sacks, becoming the first Tampa Bay player since Simeon Rice in 2005 to record double-digit sack totals in a single season.

But neither performance was enough for them to earn a spot on the NFC Pro Bowl team.

In fact, the Bucs were shut out of the NFL all-star game for the first time since 2009 when the teams were announced Tuesday night. That was the  inaugural season under coach Raheem Morris in which the Bucs finished 3-13 after gutting the roster.

At 5-9, the Bucs have been largely off the NFL radar since their defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football in Week 3.

Evans, 25, was named a first alternate, meaning is likely he will get an invitation to play in the Pro Bowl on Jan. 27 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. He played in his only Pro Bowl in 2016 after leading the Bucs with 96 catches for 1,321 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The receivers for the NFC team were the Falcons Julio Jones, the Saints' Michael Thomas, the Vikings' Adam Thielen, and the Packers ' Davante Adams.

This season, Evans joined Randy Moss and A.J. Green as the only players to record at least 1,000 yards receiving in each of their first five pro seasons.

The Bucs franchise single-season receiving record of 1,422 yards has been held by Mark Carrier since 1989.

Evans, the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, became the Bucs' career receiving leader this season with 5,907 yards and 37 touchdowns.

At 29, Pierre-Paul has been everything the Bucs hoped for when they sent a third round pick and swapped fourth round picks with the Giants for the former South Florida star last off-season. A two-time Super Bowl champion with the Giants, Pierre-Paul made the Pro Bowl in 2011 and 2012.

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy also saw his string of six consecutive Pro Bowl selections snapped Tuesday. McCoy has 23 tackles and six sacks in 12 games this season.

Following Sunday's 20-12 loss at Baltimore, Pierre-Paul said he didn't need to be named to the Pro Bowl to know how he has performed this season.

"To be honest, it doesn't really matter,'' Pierre-Paul said when asked about the Pro Bowl. "My game speaks for itself. You know, and I know I did a great job, a fantastic job this year and I don't really care about the votes.

"My wife said she voted for me about 100 times. Shout out to my wife. But like I always say, it doesn't matter about Pro Bowls because I've been in the game for nine years and I know how it goes. Some is favoritism, some is not. I've had pretty good years and I only made it twice to the Pro Bowl so I really don't care. I always do what I can do and play some great football and that's all that matters. Everybody can see it and that's all the counts. As long as the fans and the fan base sees it and the organization sees it and I'm doing a hell of a job, that's all that counts.''

Defensive ends selected to the NFC team Tuesday were the Saints' Cameron Jordan, the Cowboys' DeMarcus Lawrence and the Vikings Danielle Hunter.

Contact Rick Stroud at rstroud@tampabay.com. Follow @NFLStroud