When the NFL Pro Bowl teams were announced in late December, it came as a bit of a surprise that not a single player from the Detroit Lions made the NFC roster. At the time of the announcement, the Lions were sitting in first place in the NFC North, controlling their own destiny for a home playoff game. We all know what happened next as the Lions ended up losing the division title to the Green Bay Packers in the final week of the season and eventually lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Seattle Seahawks.
But, if this weekend’s Conference Championship game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers goes according to seed, the Lions could be sending a player to the Pro Bowl after all. That’s right Lions fans, if the Falcons defend their home turf against the Packers, Detroit kicker Matt Prater would get the nod as an alternate on the NFC roster, replacing Falcons kicker Matt Bryant.
Looking at Pro Bowl rosters if ATL wins on Sun Prater in as alternate. Slay said he'll play if needed but Sherman/Jenkins/PP/Rhodes all done
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) January 16, 2017
Prater was outstanding for the Lions in 2016 as he connected on 31 of 36 field goal attempts, including going 7 for 7 from 50+ yards. If he were to get the nod, Prater would be extremely deserving.
There is also an outside chance that Matthew Stafford gets called as an alternate, though he would likely decline because of his injured finger. The Lions signal-caller is currently the second alternate and with either Aaron Rodgers or Matt Ryan going to the Super Bowl, Stafford would be just one player away.