EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams landed two defensive players on the Pro Bowl teams announced Tuesday night in the form of end Robert Quinn and defensive tackle Aaron Donald. But when all is said and done, the Rams could actually have four players making the trip to Glendale, Ariz. for the annual all-star exhibition.
Cornerback Janoris Jenkins and punt returner Tavon Austin received nods as Pro Bowl alternates, which means if players ahead of them at their positions are unable to go or are still playing late into the postseason, they could get the chance to make their first appearances in the game. It's unclear how far down the alternate list both players are so it remains to be seen how many would have to miss the game for either Jenkins or Austin to go.
At cornerback, Jenkins is behind a group that includes six players who have made the playoffs. That includes Denver's Chris Harris and Aqib Talib, Indianapolis' Vontae Davis, New England's Darrelle Revis, Arizona's Patrick Peterson and Seattle's Richard Sherman. The further any or all of those players advance in the playoffs, the better Jenkins' chances.
It is a bit of a surprise that Jenkins made the alternate list given his knack for allowing big plays but he also had a couple of splashy interception returns for touchdown as well so it's likely that earned him some recognition from his peers.
Austin, meanwhile, faces a tougher road to Arizona. Philadelphia's Darren Sproles and Atlanta's Devin Hester made the team. Hester could be in the postseason which might create an opening but the Eagles are not headed to the playoffs. Austin is second in the league in punt returns with 391, which ranks second only to Sproles' 491.