Well, C.J. Ham Did the Thing.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Two Minnesota Vikings players were voted outright to the Pro Bowl earlier this month: Outside linebacker Danielle Hunter and long snapper Andrew DePaola.

Well, C.J. Ham Did the Thing.

Generally speaking, the haul was underwhelming because men like Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins usually attend the event. This year, though, injuries thwarted the norm.

Ham Did
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

But Monday, one Viking received encouraging news, on deck to play in the Pro Bowl — fullback C..J Ham. Star Tribune‘s Andrew Krammer tweeted, “With the 49ers in the Super Bowl, fifth-year first alternate FB C.J. Ham will be joining Danielle Hunter and Andrew DePaola in Orlando for the Pro Bowl this weekend. Ham also replaced Kyle Juszczyk in 2019 before the first Chiefs-49ers Super Bowl.”

Ham wasn’t a total force inside the Vikings’ 2023 season, but few fullbacks exist around the modern NFL, and Ham remains one of the league’s best. He played 19% of Minnesota’s offensive snaps in 2023 and grabbed 7 receptions for 25 yards, accompanied by a 57.6 Pro Football Focus grade.

The Vikings 2022 Offense by the Numbers: After Week 15
Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings also have a few more Pro Bowl alternates who could be made official if true-blue Pro Bowlers bow out of the game because of injury or a Super Bowl appearance:

1st Alternate:
TE T.J. Hockenson

2nd Alternate:
Josh Metellus

3rd Alternate:
Garrett Bradbury

4th Alternate:
Christian Darrisaw and S Harrison Smith

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Hockenson likely won’t find inclusion because of his injury. He tore his ACL in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions after a dirty hit by Lions safety Kerby Joseph. A couple of weeks later, Joseph also shredded Tyler Higbee’s ACL, a tight end for the Los Angeles Rams.

Metellus deserves a Pro Bowl nod, but “2nd alternate” is a bit far down the list for comfort. The Vikings safety was a revelation in 2023, effectuating hefty summer forecasts from NFL pundits who claimed Metellus could be the next big thing.

Vikings Pro Bowler's Once-Sentence Reaction to the Mayhem
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports.

Bradbury and Smith probably won’t follow Ham’s path, and Darrisaw was utterly snubbed. Often, Pro Bowl voting is a lifetime achievement contest, and accordingly, Darrisaw hasn’t edged long-time veterans at the left tackle spot.

On Ham, it is unclear how long he’ll remain on the Vikings’ roster, mainly because his utilization is minimal. Many believed he’d be a roster cut casualty in 2023, but instead, the Vikings re-upped his contract. Ham is scheduled to be a part of the Vikings through the end of 2025 (or two more seasons).

Ham also earned Pro Bowl kudos in 2019.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

Share: