CHARLOTTE — Brian Burns might not get the golf cart, but he is going bowling.
The Panthers defensive end was named a starter for the Pro Bowl, in results announced Wednesday night.
Burns has 9.0 sacks this year (already matching last year’s total), and has put up impressive numbers early in his career.
Still just 23 years old, Burns has 25.5 career sacks and six strip-sacks, which are the highest totals of anyone in the 2019 NFL Draft class. He also has 54 quarterback hits, the second-highest total among his draft class.
That kind of production also has him near the top of the Panthers’ franchise record book, which is some pretty exclusive company.
Only Julius Peppers (30.0) has more sacks in his first 45 games here. Peppers retired fourth on the league’s all-time sack list with 159.5.
And while Burns has been good, he doesn’t lead the current Panthers team.
Outside linebacker Haason Reddick has 11.0 sacks this season, which gives him an edge in the friendly wager he has with Burns over the team’s sack title this year.
Reddick, who led all NFC outside linebackers in fan voting for the Pro Bowl, was named a first alternate. Fan voting makes up a third of the total tally, with coaches and players counting a third each.
Since the start of the 2020 season, Reddick has 23.5 sacks, tied for fourth in the league over that span.
Cornerback Stephon Gilmore was also named a first alternate.
Gilmore has only played seven games this year, but he had interceptions in his first two games with his hometown team, and has been a steadying presence for a team that has placed three starting cornerbacks on injured reserve already this season.