Rodgers leads Packers’ Pro Bowl contingent

GREEN BAY — Three Packers have been selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl: quarterback Aaron Rodgers, linebacker Clay Matthews and center Jeff Saturday.

Rodgers, being named to the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career, will be the starter for the NFC for the second consecutive year. Matthews and Saturday will both begin the game on the bench.

Rodgers, the league’s reigning Most Valuable Player, leads the NFL in passer rating (106.2) and has thrown 35 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.

“It’s an honor to be voted in, knowing that it’s a combination of the fans, my fellow players and the coaches,” Rodgers said. “To be recognized by all of those people, it’s pretty special.”

Matthews has now made the Pro Bowl in each of his first four NFL seasons, marking the first time that any Packers player in franchise history has accomplished that.

“It’s pretty special to hear something like that,” Matthews said. “Obviously, there have been so many great players to have come through here, so it is very meaningful. But to me, making the Pro Bowl again really speaks a great deal to the team we have and what we’ve been able to accomplish over these past four years in my short tenure here. Hopefully it’s an early foreshadowing of things to come as far as the success not only for myself, but for this team.”

Matthews, despite missing four games due to a hamstring injury, is sixth in the league this season with 12 sacks.

Saturday, named to his sixth Pro Bowl in his 14-year career, started the first 14 games for Green Bay before being benched in favor of Evan Dietrich-Smith.

The Packers also had two first-alternates named to the Pro Bowl: kick returner Randall Cobb and offensive guard Josh Sitton.

Fullback John Kuhn, defensive tackle B.J. Raji, cornerback Tramon Williams and safety Charles Woodson are also alternates for the Pro Bowl.

The Pro Bowl will take place the week before the Super Bowl on Jan. 27. As always in the NFL, if the Packers are preparing to play in the Super Bowl, none of them will participate in the Pro Bowl.

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