Peterson, Six Others Become Pro Bowlers

Adrian Peterson (Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

Rookie Adrian Peterson made one of his goals in becoming a Pro Bowl player, joining six other Vikings for the postseason honor. In addition, the Vikings had four others selected as alternates.

>Rookie running back Adrian Peterson led a cast of seven Vikings – four on offense and three on defense – named to the Pro Bowl.

Peterson has rushed for 1,278 yards in 14 games and led the league throughout much of the season, until a knee injury sidelined him for almost 2 ½ games and a 3-yard performance against the San Francisco 49ers allowed Pittsburgh's Willie Parker to surpass him (Parker has 1,317). Now, after gaining 78 yards against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson is also ahead of Peterson with 1,311 yards.

Peterson's national recognition rose with a 224-yard effort against the Bears in their first meeting. At the time, that was the Vikings' all-time rushing record, but he broke that and the NFL's all-time single-game rushing record with a 296-yard performance against Tomlinson's Chargers.

"It would mean a lot. It's something that I've dreamed about, playing in the Pro Bowl," Peterson said Monday night before learning of his selection. "For it to happen in my rookie year it would mean a lot to me. It would mean a lot to the offensive line. Those are the guys that have really contributed to the season that I have had so far."

Peterson beocmes the first Vikings rookie since Randy Moss (1993) and first Vikings rookie running back since Chuck Foreman (1973) to be named to the Pro Bowl.

The Vikings have the No. 1 rushing offense in the league, and that success has helped get center Matt Birk and guard Steve Hutchinson into the Pro Bowl as well. It was Birk's sixth selection and Hutchinson's fifth.

Peterson's lead blocking back, fullback Tony Richardson, was also selected. Peterson and Richardson were the only Vikings to lead the NFC at their position after the fan portion of voting last week. It was Richardson's third Pro Bowl selection.

On defense, Pat Williams made it for the second time and Kevin Williams for the third time. Both of those defensive tackles are integral parts of the Vikings' No. 1 rushing defense as well. This will be only the second time in team history that a pair of defensive tackles have made consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl, joining Gary Larsen and Alan Page in 1969 and 1970.

Safety Darren Sharper also was selected for the fourth time, his second as a Viking.

The Vikings also had linebacker E.J. Henderson, special teams coverage ace Heath Farwell, kicker Ryan Longwell and left tackle Bryant McKinnie named as alternates.

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