The San Francisco 49ers’ appearance in the Super Bowl means several stars won’t play in the Pro Bowl, opening up spots for others
Arizona inside linebacker Daryl Washington is headed to the Pro Bowl for the first time. Washington, an alternate, will replace San Francisco’s NaVorro Bowman in Hawaii, where the Pro Bowl will be played next Sunday.
Washington Redskins linebackers London Fletcher and Ryan Kerrigan will head to the Pro Bowl as replacements for linebackers Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh also has been added to the NFC team, replacing San Francisco’s Justin Smith.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie running back Doug Martin also is being added to the NFC roster, taking the place of Frank Gore. Martin is the Bucs’ first rookie in the Pro Bowl since kick returner Clifton Smith in 2008.
Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece will replace Baltimore’s Vonta Leach on the AFC’s roster after the Ravens earned a trip to the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The 37-year-old Fletcher is going to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl. Kerrigan, a second-year player, gets his first trip to the exhibition game.
Their additions give the Redskins five Pro Bowl selections for the first time since 1996. They join rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, who will miss the Pro Bowl after knee surgery; left tackle Trent Williams and special teamer Lorenzo Alexander.
Suh was initially selected as an alternate. He becomes the third Detroit player picked for the Pro Bowl, the team’s most since also having three selected to the 2005 game. Suh, wide receiver Calvin Johnson and long snapper Don Muhlbach are on this year’s team. Johnson was selected as a starter but is not expected to play.
Suh is the first Lion to earn a Pro Bowl trip in two of his first three seasons since Barry Sanders, who earned Pro Bowl nods in all 10 of his NFL seasons.
Washington, the first Cardinals linebacker to make the Pro Bowl since Seth Joyner in 1994, led Arizona with a career-high 140 tackles (110 solo), with nine sacks, 14 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, an interception, a fumble recovery and six passes defensed. His nine sacks were the most by any NFL inside linebacker.
Washington is the second Arizona player to make this Pro Bowl, joining cornerback Patrick Peterson. Washington is in his third NFL season, Peterson his second. Peterson also made the Pro Bowl last year as a punt returner.
Martin, the 30th pick in last April’s NFL draft, ran for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. His yards rushing ranked fifth in the league.
Reece, who had been selected as a first alternate, played in all 16 games with 14 starts; 10 at fullback and four at running back. He had a career-high 59 rushing attempts for 271 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. He also ranked second on the team with 52 catches for 496 yards and one touchdown, ranking fourth among NFL running backs in receptions. He also led running backs with 9.5 yards per reception.