The New Orleans Saints had a solitary player selected for the 2024 Pro Bowl Games Roster. Scheduled as a week-long event featuring diverse skills competitions, the culmination will be a flag football game between the AFC and NFC in Orlando, FL, set for February 4.
Rashid Shaheed, a wide receiver and kick returner, secured the only spot for the Saints in this year’s squad. Notably, three former Saints-OT Terron Armstead (now with the Dolphins) and DE Trey Hendrickson (currently with the Bengals)-garnered places on the AFC squad.
Shaheed, an undrafted talent from Weber State in his second season, surprised many by his breakout performance as a rookie, where he caught 28 passes for 488 yards and three touchdowns in limited appearances. This season, his progress continued with 43 receptions for 654 yards and four scores.
However, Shaheed’s selection for the Pro Bowl wasn’t solely due to his receiving prowess but was primarily attributed to his explosive return skills. Throughout the season, his 23 punt returns for the Saints averaged an impressive 14.1 yards per return, ranking among the league’s top performers. In a memorable Week 3 game against Green Bay, he sprinted 76 yards for a punt return touchdown, marking his first scoring return in his young career. Additionally, he maintained an average of over 21 yards on kickoff returns.
Shaheed’s consistent excellence in punt returns significantly contributed to the Saints’ advantage in field position. As the 8-8 Saints prepare for their final regular-season matchup against the Atlanta Falcons at home this Sunday, securing a win becomes crucial to keep their playoff aspirations alive.