OWINGS MILLS — A poorly-kept secret was revealed Wednesday as the Baltimore Ravens announced that Bart Scott will replace injured middle linebacker Ray Lewis in the Pro Bowl, giving the team four starting linebackers who received all-star recognition.
Scott, who led all NFL inside linebackers with 9 1/2 sacks, will step in for Lewis in the Feb. 10 all-star game in Hawaii due to a hand injury suffered in a 15-6 AFC divisional playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Just last week, the Ravens announced that Lewis would replace injured Denver Broncos linebacker Al Wilson.
Almost immediately after that announcement, Lewis contacted Scott, according to Scott’s agent, and said that Lewis would like for Scott to play in his place as the next alternate on the AFC squad.
The team is in the process of sending medical paperwork to the league to confirm Lewis’ injured status, but both players will receive credit for having been named to the Pro Bowl. Scott joins linebackers Terrell Suggs and Adalius Thomas, cornerback Chris McAlister, safety Ed Reed and offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden.
This will be the first Pro Bowl appearance for Scott, who went undrafted out of Division I-AA Southern Illinois and rose to prominence in the last two seasons. He registered 135 tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble in 2006 for the AFC North champions.
"It’s official as far as I’m concerned," Scott said. "I’m just thrilled to get to go."
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.