Colts send four players to Pro Bowl, with one surprising selection

The Indianapolis Colts will finish the season with four total Pro Bowlers. Among the four is a player that no one expected to get the honor.
Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars
Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

When the 2024 Pro Bowlers were first announced, the Indianapolis Colts only had one representative: Quenton Nelson. Nelson was selected for his sixth Pro Bowl, making him a Pro Bowler in every NFL season he played. Now, as the Pro Bowl Games approach, Nelson is no longer Indy’s lone Pro Bowler.

Because of other players’ availability throughout the league, the Colts have had three other players named to the Pro Bowl: defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, center Ryan Kelly, and quarterback Gardner Minshew.

DeForest Buckner, Ryan Kelly, and Gardner Minshew named Pro Bowlers

Buckner is coming off another elite season, playing in all 17 games. He recorded 81 tackles, 11 for a loss, eight sacks, seven batted passes, two forced fumbles, and a scoop and score. This is officially the third Pro Bowl season of his career.

It’s the fourth Pro Bowl selection of Ryan Kelly’s career. The center had a tremendous bounce-back season, playing a big role in the resurgence of the offensive line. With Kelly back playing his best football, the Colts were able to run the ball and keep quarterbacks clean.

That brings us to the surprising selection: Gardner Minshew. No one expected Minshew to make the Pro Bowl. At the beginning of the season, Minshew wasn’t even expected to see the field. However, a season-ending injury to Anthony Richardson opened the door for Minshew to start 13 games. Gardner Minshew went on to complete 62.2% of his passes for 3,305 yards, 15 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He also added three rushing touchdowns.

Someone who didn’t get the call was linebacker Zaire Franklin and he was rightfully frustrated. Franklin made his frustration clear on social media before declaring that he’s going back to the lab. In 2023, Franklin broke his own franchise record for tackles in a season, recording 179 tackles in only 16 games. That was the second-most tackles in the NFL, just four behind Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner. Still, Franklin will have to wait at least another year before making his first Pro Bowl.