Pro Bowl Voting Reflects Injuries

After a six-year average of 5.2 Pro Bowlers, the Packers are shut out in Friday's all-star results. Rookie running back Eddie Lacy is the lone first alternate. The 49ers and Chiefs led the way with eight players apiece.

For the first time since 2005, the Green Bay Packers had no players selected to the Pro Bowl.

The Packers were 4-12 that season, the last under Mike Sherman. The Packers are 7-7-1 this season and playing for the NFC North title on Sunday.

The Packers had four selections in 2012, seven in 2011, eight in 2010, four in 2009, three in 2008 and five in 2007. That's a six-year average of 5.2. Clay Matthews had been selected to four consecutive Pro Bowls but has only 7.5 sacks while playing in 11 games. Aaron Rodgers had been selected the past two seasons but missed seven games with a broken collarbone.

The Pro Bowl roster is subject to change, based on injuries and who reaches the Super Bowl. Rookie running back Eddie Lacy is a first alternate. Seven other Packers players were named alternates: fullback John Kuhn, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, guard Josh Sitton, Matthews, receiver Jordy Nelson and cornerbacks Sam Shields and Tramon Williams. Sitton joined Rodgers, Matthews and Jeff Saturday as Pro Bowl selections last year.

Kansas City and San Francisco will have plenty of clout in Honolulu if they don't make it to New Jersey for the Super Bowl.

The NFL revealed Friday that the Chiefs and 49ers each had eight players voted into the Pro Bowl, including running backs Jamaal Charles of Kansas City and Frank Gore of San Francisco.

Denver quarterback Peyton Manning was selected to his 13th Pro Bowl after receiving the most votes among fans, 1.43 million. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees was second among fans with 1.2 million votes.

The NFL combines votes from fans, players and coaches to determine 86 of 88 Pro Bowl players; the other two players are long-snappers selected by Pro Bowl coaches. Voting ended Thursday.

Under a new format this year, NFL greats Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will divvy up the players in a two-day draft before the Jan. 26 game. Offensive and defensive players with the most votes who don't make it past the divisional playoff round will serve as active player captains.

Charles said Friday night on a reveal show on the NFL Network that he should be picked first.

"I think I got the best skill-set of anybody on the roster," Charles said. "I think I can play wide receiver and then put the ball in my hand, also. The only thing I can't do is throw the ball."

The schoolyard-style selections mean it's likely teammates will be forced to play on opposite sides.

San Francisco linebacker NaVorro Bowman said he thinks it would be weird to have to tackle Gore or Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis.

"I might not tackle him," Bowman said. "Just let him score and get his yards or whatever. Yeah, that'd be weird because that hasn't happened since training camp."

Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman received 552,600 votes by fans, the most for any defensive player. Houston defensive end J.J. Watt had just under 410,000 fan votes.

San Francisco is set to send eight players to the game for the second year in a row, though its players missed the game earlier this year because they made the Super Bowl, losing to Baltimore.

Kansas City's eight selections are up from six last year. The Chiefs are 11-4 this year - up from 2-14 last year - and the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs heading into a largely meaningless game for them against San Diego on Sunday.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Friday he has never been big on Pro Bowl selections.

"I'm happy for the guys when and if they make it. I'm proud of them for it," Reid said. "But we don't get caught up in all of the individual accolades. (We're) just getting ourselves ready to play."

Manning was one of five players selected from Denver, which has a shot at putting up the most points of any team in NFL history.


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