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Allen Park — Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah has had a stellar year, and NFL fans have taken notice.

The league announced its final Pro Bowl fan voting numbers, and Ansah ranked third among defensive ends, behind Houston's J.J. Watt and New England's Chandler Jones.

The fan vote doesn't ensure Ansah will be a Pro Bowler for the first time in his career. Players and coaches also vote, to help make sure as many of the top players make it, but Ansah discussed the possibility of playing in the all-star game Thursday.

"It would be an honor for me to be a part of the Pro Bowl," he said. "I think it would just be a humbling experience for me."

Beyond that, Ansah didn't want to discuss the event because he hasn't officially made it and the Lions still have three games left this season.

Ansah was the only Lions player in the top 10 at his position in the fan voting. Cornerback Darius Slay is probably the second-most deserving player as he's been a lockdown cover man for much of the year.

Wide receiver Calvin Johnson, meanwhile, has made the Pro Bowl each of the past five years, but is in danger of missing it unless the coaches and players give him significant support.

Ansah said he knows deserving players miss the Pro Bowl each year, so he'd be happy to make it. With 13.5 sacks, he's tied with Watt for second in the NFL, behind only Oakland's Khalil Mack. Ansah has 8.5 sacks in his last seven games.

"I think I'm just getting a little more help from my teammates," he said. "We're all playing collectively. We detail our rushes a lot, and I think everybody's on the same page."

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/jkatzenstein


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