Comeback Players Lead Pro Bowlers
This story originally published on PackerReport.com
QB Aaron Rodgers (Kyle Terada/USP)
QB Aaron Rodgers (Kyle Terada/USP)
For Packer Report
Posted Dec 26, 2012


Aaron Rodgers is joined by Denver quarterack Peyton Manning and Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson. Here are the 43-man rosters for the AFC and NFC.

NEW YORK -- Sensational comebacks have Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson headed for the Pro Bowl.

Also selected Wednesday to the NFL's All-Star Game was Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Manning missed all of the 2011 season with neck and back problems that required several operations. He then signed with Denver as a free agent and has led the Broncos to a 10-game winning streak and the AFC West title.

"I know there's great players out there in the NFL, but there's some great players on this team this year that deserve to go," said Manning, who ranks fourth in the league in passing, has thrown 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Four other Broncos made the AFC roster: defensive end Elvis Dumervil, linebacker Von Miller, cornerback Champ Bailey and tackle Ryan Clady.

Minnesota's Peterson tore up his left knee on Christmas Eve last year, underwent major surgery, then was back for the season opener. He's gone from uncertain to unstoppable, running away with the rushing title with a career-high 1,898 yards and lifting the Vikings toward an NFC wild card.

"Coming into the season after going through the rehab process, I just told myself that I wanted to lead my team to a championship and make sure that I contribute and do my part," Peterson said. "I've been doing it."

Griffin is one of three rookie QBs who had superb debut seasons, along with Andrew Luck of Indianapolis and Russell Wilson of Seattle. Luck and Wilson weren't voted to the Pro Bowl by players, coaches and fans, although their teams are in the playoffs. Griffin can get to the postseason if Washington beats Dallas on Sunday.

"You can't play down those kind of things," Griffin said. "I've always said my whole football career that you don't play for awards. They just come. You don't say you're going to win the Heisman. You don't say you're going to win MVP. You go out and you prove it on the field, and if everyone feels that way then they'll give you that award."

San Francisco had the most players selected with nine, including six from its second-ranked defense. Houston was next with eight, six on offense.

Kansas City, despite its 2-13 record that is tied with Jacksonville for worst in the league, had five Pro Bowlers, including RB Jamaal Charles, who like Peterson is coming back from a torn ACL.

One other rookie, Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh, was chosen. Walsh has nine field goals of at least 50 yards, an NFL record.

Another record-setter will be heading to Honolulu for the Jan. 27 Pro Bowl: Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

Johnson broke Jerry Rice's single-season yards receiving record and has 1,892 yards with a game left.


Here are the AFC and NFC rosters. Starters are marked with an asterisk.

AFC: Offense

Quarterback

Peyton Manning, Denver*

Tom Brady, New England

Matt Schaub, Houston

Running back

Arian Foster, Houston*

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City

Ray Rice, Baltimore

Fullback

Vonta Leach, Baltimore*

Wide receiver

A.J. Green, Cincinnati*

Andre Johnson, Houston*

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis

Wes Welker, New England

Tight end

Rob Gronkowski, New England*

Heath Miller, Pittsburgh

Tackle

Joe Thomas, Cleveland*

Duane Brown, Houston*

Ryan Clady, Denver

Guard

Logan Mankins, New England*

Marshal Yanda, Baltimore*

Wade Smith, Houston

Center

Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh*

Chris Myers, Houston

AFC: Defense

Defensive end

J.J. Watt, Houston*

Cameron Wake, Miami*

Elvis Dumervil, Denver

Interior linemen

Geno Atkins, Cincinnati*

Vince Wilfork, New England*

Haloti Ngata, Baltimore

Outside linebacker

Von Miller, Denver*

Tamba Hali, Kansas City*

Robert Mathis, Indianapolis

Inside/Middle linebacker

Jerod Mayo, New England*

Derrick Johnson, Kansas City

Cornerback

Champ Bailey, Denver*

Johnathan Joseph, Houston*

Antonio Cromartie, N.Y. Jets

Free safety

Ed Reed, Baltimore*

Strong safety

Eric Berry, Kansas City*

LaRon Landry, N.Y. Jets

AFC: Specialists

Punter

Dustin Colquitt, Kansas City

Place-kicker

Phil Dawson, Cleveland

Kick returner

Jacoby Jones, Baltimore

Special-teamer

Matthew Slater, New England

NFC: Offense

Quarterback

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay*

Matt Ryan, Atlanta

Robert Griffin III, Washington

Running back

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota*

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle

Frank Gore, San Francisco

Fullback

Jerome Felton, Minnesota*

Wide receiver

Calvin Johnson, Detroit*

Brandon Marshall, Chicago*

Julio Jones, Atlanta

Victor Cruz, N.Y. Giants

Tight end

Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta*

Jason Witten, Dallas

Tackle

Joe Staley, San Francisco*

Russell Okung, Seattle*

Trent Williams, Washington

Guard

Mike Iupati, San Francisco*

Jahri Evans, New Orleans*

Chris Snee, N.Y. Giants

Center

Max Unger, Seattle*

Jeff Saturday, Green Bay

NFC: Defense

Defensive end

Jason Pierre-Paul, N.Y. Giants*

Julius Peppers, Chicago*

Jared Allen, Minnesota

Interior linemen

Justin Smith, San Francisco*

Henry Melton, Chicago*

Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay

Outside linebacker

Aldon Smith, San Francisco*

DeMarcus Ware, Dallas*

Clay Matthews, Green Bay

Inside/Middle linebacker

Patrick Willis, San Francisco*

NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco

Cornerback

Charles Tillman, Chicago*

Tim Jennings, Chicago*

Patrick Peterson, Arizona

Free safety

Dashon Goldson, San Francisco*

Earl Thomas, Seattle

Strong safety

Donte Whitner, San Francisco*

NFC: Specialists

Punter

Thomas Morstead, New Orleans

Place-kicker

Blair Walsh, Minnesota

Kick returner

Leon Washington, Seattle

Special-teamer

Lorenzo Alexander, Washington



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