Buffalo nose tackle Kyle Williams was not voted to the AFC Pro Bowl team, but that doesn't mean he won't go.
Williams has been told he is a first alternate so if either New England's Vince Wilfork, Baltimore's Haloti Ngata or Oakland's Richard Seymour can't go, Williams will make the trip to Hawaii for the Jan. 30 all-star game.
His chances look good. Wilfork and Ngata are on playoff teams with a legitimate shot to reach the Super Bowl, set for the week after the Pro Bowl.
Williams isn't disappointed he wasn't voted in. He's just happy to be considered.
"It's always an honor to get recognized by your fans, the guys you play against and the coaches that coach against you," he said before practice Friday. "I'm honored with anything I get. Any time they're willing to put you up for any kind of postseason award or recognize your play as good or they mention you, that's a good thing."
Williams got the support of the team the Bills will face on Sunday. Despite the fact his team rushed for 273 yards in a Week Four win at Buffalo, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said Williams was deserving of a Pro Bowl nod.
"I love Kyle Williams," Ryan said. "I haven't really studied the Pro Bowl list but if he never made it, there's something wrong because that guy plays his tail off."
"It's nice to hear that people have respect for you, they like what you do," Williams said about Ryan's comments.
Williams is having the best season of his five-year career. He leads the Bills with 5.5 sacks, a career high. His 75 tackles, also a personal best, are tied for second behind only to Cleveland nose tackle Ahtyba Rubin's 79 among NFL defensive linemen.
Playing on a losing team didn't help Williams' cause. He also lacks the name recognition of Wilfork, Ngata and Seymour, all of whom have been to the Pro Bowl.
"You know that the Pro Bowl gets a lot of guys in there that have been there, have done that, have been good players and had good years," Williams said. "I would much rather be a guy that some people say, 'Oh, he should have gotten in and he didn't get in,' because of the way I'm playing rather than somebody that maybe gets in on reputation. I'm not saying that about any of the guys that made it at D-tackle. I'm just saying in general, I would much rather be viewed as somebody 'Oh, he should have gotten in because he's playing his tail off.' "
Williams thinks if the Bills win more games and beat some high-profile teams, he and his teammates will have a better chance to earn postseason honors such as the Pro Bowl.
He could be on his way there this year. He won't know for a while, but will continue to stay in playing shape just in case he gets the call.
"If one of those guys can't go and I get the opportunity to go, I'd love to go and represent our organization, our team and obviously my family," Williams said.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was unable to practice again Thursday, raising concerns about his status for Sunday. Fitzpatrick has a sore knee. Coach Chan Gailey is not sure if Fitzpatrick will be able to practice today.
"If a guy doesn't practice, you're concerned," Gailey said. "We hope he can make it. I don't know if he will or not, to be honest with you."
Fitzpatrick has played every down since becoming the starter in Week Three. If he can't go, Brian Brohm will get his first start of the season.
The Bills' short-handed wide receiver corps might be without Donald Jones, who had a setback due to a head injury sustained in last week's game. Jones may have a concussion.
The Bills are already going to be without receiver David Nelson (ribs). They signed Paul Hubbard off the practice squad earlier this week. They also have Bobby Williams and Rod Windsor on the practice squad.
Safety Jon Corto and linebacker Mike Balogun also missed practice with illnesses. Williams (hip), left tackle Demetrius Bell (knee), linebacker Chris Kelsay (knee), cornerback Terrence McGee (head) and nose tackle Torell Troup (back) returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday.
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez did some light throwing and took part in a limited portion of practice Thursday. It looks like he'll start Sunday despite his ailing right shoulder, but how long hasn't been determined. Other noted limited participants were cornerbacks Darrelle Revis (hamstring) and Antonio Cromartie (groin) and defensive end Trevor Pryce (hip).