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Ramsey on Pro Bowl: "Super special"

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) is seen during a game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 16th, 2018 in Jacksonville, Fla. Jaguars defeated the Patriots 31-20. (Logan Bowles via AP)

JACKSONVILLE – The honor matters to Jalen Ramsey.

"It's super special," the third-year cornerback said Wednesday as the Jaguars (4-10) prepared to play the Miami Dolphins (7-7) at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Sunday at 1 p.m.

Ramsey, named a Pro Bowl starter for a second consecutive season, became the second defensive player in the Jaguars' 24 seasons to make the game in consecutive seasons. He is the first Jaguars player named to the game in consecutive seasons since running back Maurice Jones-Drew in 2009-2011.

"Back to back – it was a goal coming into the year to be the best I can," Ramsey said. "This is I would say a step in that direction. The season hasn't gone how I would like it to go, but this is a plus. This is a positive."

A first-team Associated Press All-Pro selection last season, Ramsey was the lone Jaguars player selected to the Pro Bowl this season. The team had six players named to the Pro Bowl this season.

Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell, a three-time Pro Bowl selection and the runner-up for the 2017 AP Defensive Player of the Year, was not named to the game despite leading the Jaguars with eight sacks through 12 games.

"It's an individual award, and a team losing a lot of games doesn't get a lot of guys going," Campbell said. "I did have some hope, though, because I thought I played fairly well this year at times. At the end of the day, it's what have you done for me lately? It's based off the stats, numbers and wins – and that's the No. 1 thing that mattered.

"We had guys who were worthy, and I was glad to see Jalen go. He had an incredible year – as always. He always plays to a standard."

Ramsey last season wasn't sure he would play in the Pro Bowl after being named to the game for the first time. The Jaguars last season lost the AFC Championship Game the Sunday before Pro Bowl week. Ramsey did play in the Pro Bowl last season, saying Wednesday he was glad he did.

"Last year was a little different circumstance," he said with a smile. "I plan on being there again. We have two games we have to look forward to and stay healthy and play the best I can. But hopefully, I'll be able to go to Orlando [the site of the game on January 27, 2019]."

Ramsey, the No. 5 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, has registered 57 tackles (54 solo), with 11 passes defensed and three interceptions this season.

Ramsey also has started the first 46 games of his NFL career, a streak he has continued in recent weeks despite a knee bruise – and one he plans to maintain in the final two weeks of the season despite Jacksonville having been eliminated from the postseason.

"I love the game of football, so any opportunity I get, I just love to play; I want to go out there and play," Ramsey said. "I want to go out and there and play with a lot of heart and a lot of passion. A lot of guys in this locker room are exactly the same.

"Being able to play football is truly a privilege we are blessed with by God with all of our talents and all of our skills. If we have opportunity, we don't want to go out there and waste it."

Ramsey added, "I love football. I truly love football. I hate not being able to play football. I've never missed a game in my NFL career – a regular-season game. I don't plan on it now."

Ramsey said the knee issue could influence his decision to play in the Pro Bowl, but he hopes that's not the case.

"It kind of depends," Ramsey said. "With a bruise, you kind of have to just rest and not do anything for it to get better. It still hurts now, but the trainers have told me after the season – after I rest for a week and a half or two weeks – it will be good."

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