Daron Payne to replace Aaron Donald for Pro Bowl

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Daron Payne is going to the Pro Bowl, after all. 

The Washington Commanders defensive tackle was named Thursday to the NFC’s roster after Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald dropped out because of an injury. Payne, coming off a career year, was originally named as a first alternate to the event, meaning that someone would have to bow out for the 25-year-old to make it. 

Payne is one of five Commanders headed to the Pro Bowl, joining defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, punter Tress Way, wide receiver Terry McLaurin and special teamer Jeremy Reaves. 

The honor marks the latest achievement for Payne, who is in store for a major payday this offseason after finishing with a career-high 11 1/2 sacks. The 2018 first-rounder is set to be a free agent in March unless he and the Commanders work out a long-term deal, or Washington decides to use the franchise tag. The latter would retain Payne on a one-year deal worth nearly $19 million.

The NFL’s Pro Bowl — dubbed the “Pro Bowl Games” as the traditional All-Star game has been scrapped — will be held Saturday, Feb. 5 in Las Vegas under a revised format that involves a flag football game, a skills competition and other events. 

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