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Jeremy Reaves earns NFLPA First Team All-Pro selection

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Jeremy Reaves continues to collect national recognition. 

Reaves, who was voted to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career as a primary special teams player, has been selected as a First Team All-Pro in the first year of the NFLPA announcing their version of the accolade. 

"You can't tell me God ain't real," Reaves said in a tweet reacting to the news with a reacting with a prayer emoji. 

The 2022 season has been an emotional journey for Reaves. After going through years of being moved between the practice squad and active roster, Reaves earned a spot on the 53-man roster for the way he impressed his coaches during training camp. 

"I've always kept the mindset of 'delayed, not denied,'" Reaves said Wednesday. "You get that moment, and it's...full circle."

To Rivera, who told Reaves on the stairs heading down to the lower level of the Ashburn facility that he would survive the final roster cuts, the decision was an easy one.

"We were sitting down, and all of these coaches felt that this guy came, played, did the things that he needed to do, showed us what he is capable of," Rivera said. "He is a guy that earned his spot. I'm very proud of him."

Things continue to get better for Reaves. At the time the Pro Bowl news was announced, he led the league in special teams tackles and led a punt return coverage unit that ranks No. 4 in the NFL.

Reaves' selection marks the first time that Washington has sent a special teamer to the Pro Bowl since Lorenzo Alexander in 2012.

"He's making every frickin' play under the sun," Tress Way said in the locker room after the announcement was made.

Way, who also made the Pro Bowl, was almost as excited for Reaves as he was for himself, and that is because he and the rest of the Commanders team know how hard Reaves has worked over the years.

"He is one of those guys when you walk in the locker room, when you walk down the hallway, when you walk in the cafeteria, you are just happy to see him," Way said. "He is so consistent with who he is as a person, his effort on the field, his energy. And he would just do anything for anyone."

Reaves started the season as a feel-good story. Now, he is recognized as one of the best special teams players in the league. And while the Commanders' 2022 season did not end as intended, getting Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro nods is not a bad way to wrap up the year.

"I can't take credit for this by myself," Reaves said after being selected to the Pro Bowl. "It takes a village, and this has been my village, along with all my family and my friends. These guys have all just been there for me."

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