Just as the Eagles quarterback was preparing to hold up a newspaper (he wasn’t) with the headline “Wentz Defeats #Tommy,” another player emerged to win the popularity contest that is the NFL’s Pro Bowl voting.
The league has announced that Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell racked up 855,539 fan votes in the process that ended on Thursday. Wentz had been the leading vote-getter at every prior voting checkpoint.
He actually fell to fourth place, behind Tom Brady (833,481) and Steelers receiver Antonio Brown (832,446). Wentz, with 829,174 votes, comfortably finished ahead of Saints quarterback Drew Brees, with 743,355.
The rest of the top 10 consisted of Rams running back Todd Gurley, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Rams quarterback Jared Goff, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, and Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette.
The Steelers had the leading vote-getters at seven positions among AFC teams, including inside linebacker Ryan Shazier, who is recovering from a serious spinal injury. (The others are Bell, Brown, Alejandro Villaneuva, David DeCastro, Maurkice Pouncey, and special-teamer Tyler Matakevich.) The Patriots have the leading vote-getter at three positions in the AFC field (Brady, Gronk, and Stephen Gostkowski), and the Jaguars have two (Tommy Bohanon and A.J. Bouye).
In the NFC, the Rams have leading vote-getters at five positions (Gurley, Goff, Aaron Donald, Greg Zuerlein, Johnny Hekker, and punt returner Pharon Cooper). The Cowboys have three (Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick), the Seahawks have two (Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas), the Eagles have two (Wentz and Zach Ertz), the Cardinals have two (Chandler Jones and special-team Budda Baker), and the Vikings have two (Everson Griffen and Xavier Rhodes).
The final Pro Bowl teams will be determined based on consideration of fan voting, player voting, and coach voting. The rosters will be unveiled Tuesday, December 19.