On Wednesday evening, four Washington Commanders players learned from head coach Ron Rivera that they had been named to the Pro Bowl this season. For wide receiver Terry McLaurin, defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, and punter Tress Way, it was a great accomplishment and reward for their hard work and excellent play -- but it paled in comparison to what was felt by safety and special teams standout Jeremy Reaves.
In a video posted by the Commanders, each of the team's four Pro Bowlers are seen being told by Ron Rivera that they've made the Pro Bowl. And of all the players' reactions, the most heartfelt by far is that of Jeremy Reaves when he learns from Rivera that he's made the Pro Bowl as a starter on special teams
Reaves was left speechless, breaking down in tears as Rivera tells him how proud he is of him.
get your tissues ready — Washington Commanders (@Commanders) December 22, 2022
watch @RiverboatRonHC tell the guys they made the Pro Bowl pic.twitter.com/7rpj99EIkZ
Reaves' selection to the Pro Bowl is a remarkable accomplishment for the 26-year old from Pensacola, Fla. An undrafted free agent in 2018, Reaves spent the first three years of his career on and off of Washington's practice squad before finally making the 53-man roster this season out of training camp. Reaves had to fight for his NFL dreams while also dealing with the loss of his mother, who died on Thanksgiving Day in 2021.
"You earned it, young man. Everything you've done. And I know your mom would be proud," Rivera told Reaves. "You earned it young man."
As heartwarming as the reaction of Reaves himself is the reaction of his fellow Pro Bowl teammates. Hearing that Reaves made the Pro Bowl got a noticeable rise out of McLaurin, while Tress Way couldn't contain his excitement that his fellow special teamer made it in and asking Rivera if he could be present when Reaves heard the news.
As the Commanders' four Pro Bowlers enjoy their individual recognitions, the team as a whole has three weeks left to achieve a major team accomplishment: Washington currently holds the No. 7 seed in the NFC, and they are looking to hold off the Seattle Seahawks and the hard-charging Detroit Lions in order to make the playoffs for the second time in three years since Rivera became head coach in 2020.