When Pro Bowl rosters were announced recently, 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner didn’t make the cut. Though Buckner was having a breakout season, the first-round pick from 2016 out of Oregon was snubbed.
Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan had believed Buckner was a lock for the team.
“The DeForest one shocked me,” Shanahan said when rosters were announced in December. “I thought that was done.”
Today, however, that snub has been erased.
A 6-foot-7, 300-pound Buckner has been invited to play in the game to fill a roster spot vacated by the Eagles’ Fletcher Cox, who was injured in Philadelphia’s loss to New Orleans in the NFC playoffs this past weekend.
Though the 49ers were disappointing in 2018, finishing at 4-12, Buckner was not. He had a career-high 12 sacks – rushing from the interior – was in on 67 tackles, batted down three passes and recovered a fumble.
Buckner ranked tied for fourth in the NFC with his 12 sacks, which doubled his best previous effort (six) as a rookie in 2016. In addition to his sacks, Buckner had 20 quarterback hits and 17 tackles for loss.
Buckner is the third 49er to be named to the Pro Bowl roster, joining tight end George Kittle and fullback Kyle Juszczyk. The game will be played Sunday, Jan. 27, in Orlando, Florida.