Browns tight end Gary Barnidge’s dream season will conclude with a trip to Hawaii and his first appearance in the Pro Bowl.
Barnidge, who was voted an alternate last month, was elevated to the roster Monday. He’ll replace Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who’s unable to participate due to injury.
The Pro Bowl is Sunday night in Honolulu. Barnidge is the third Browns player selected to the all-star game, joining left tackle Joe Thomas and center Alex Mack.
“I am very appreciative of this honor,” Barnidge said in the release announcing the move. “It is a privilege to be able to represent the Browns and our great fans at the Pro Bowl. One of the best things about this is that I get to share this experience with Joe and Alex.”
Barnidge, 30, had a breakout season in his eighth year in the NFL. He entered the season with career totals of 44 catches, 603 yards and three touchdowns and exceeded them all — by a mile.
He led the Browns with 79 catches, 1,043 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. He ranked tied for second among NFL tight ends in third-down catches (24), third in average per catch (13.2 yards), third in 25-yard catches (nine), third in yards, fourth in catches and tied for fourth in touchdowns.
The yardage was the second-most by a Browns tight end in a season, and the catches ranked sixth. The touchdowns tied Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome (1979) for most in a season.
Barnidge joins Newsome (three), Milt Morin (two), Kellen Winslow and Jordan Cameron as Browns tight ends selected to the Pro Bowl.
Players will be assigned to teams Wednesday through a draft.