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Joe Schobert, Joel Bitonio named Pro Bowl alternates

CLEVELAND — The Browns could be represented at the 2018 Pro Bowl.

Second-year linebacker Joe Schobert and offensive lineman Joel Bitonio were named alternates Tuesday night as the NFL released the annual all-star game's rosters.

Schobert is a first alternate at middle linebacker while Bitonio is a second alternate at guard.

Schobert, a fourth-round pick in 2016, leads the Browns with 127 tackles in 14 starts. He also has 2.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception. Bitonio, a second-round pick in 2014 and one of Cleveland's young leaders, has started all 14 games at left guard after missing most of last season with a foot injury.

Alternate players such as Schobert and Bitonio can replace players whose teams advance to the Super Bowl. The Steelers led the NFL with eight players selected to the Pro Bowl.

For the first time since 2007, Tuesday's rosters didn't include Browns left tackle Joe Thomas, who suffered a season-ending triceps injury against the Titans in October. Thomas, who was placed on injured reserve shortly after the injury, set a franchise record when he was named to his 10th consecutive Pro Bowl last year.

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