Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen among four Vikings named to Pro Bowl
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Adrian Peterson heads a list of four Minnesota Vikings selected to the NFC Pro Bowl team for the Jan. 27th game in Honolulu, a week before the Super Bowl.
Also named to the team on Wednesday night were defensive end Jared Allen, rookie kicker Blair Walsh and fullback Jerome Felton, who played a role in Peterson's success this season by blocking for the superstar running back.
Peterson has had a remarkable season in returning from torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee that he suffered in the second-to-last game of the 2011 season.
He has not missed a regular-season game this year and needs 102 yards to become the seventh player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. He needs 208 yards to break Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record, set in 1984 with the Los Angeles Rams.
Peterson and Felton were both named starters. Felton is the only fullback on the NFC team.
Allen leads the Vikings with 10 sacks and also has 15 tackles for loss, 36 quarterback hits, three pass breakups and one forced fumble in 15 games.
Walsh, a sixth-round pick last April out of Georgia, has been better than anyone could have expected. He's made 32 of 35 field goals and 32 of 32 extra-point attempts.
He set an NFL record on Sunday at Houston by remaining perfect this season on field-goal attempts from 50-plus yards. He is 9-for-9 in those situations.
This will be the fifth Pro Bowl appearance for both Peterson and Allen. Felton, who was signed as a free agent during the offseason after playing for both Carolina and Indianapolis in 2011, will be making his Pro Bowl debut.
Among Vikings who were bypassed for the NFC team were center John Sullivan and linebacker Chad Greenway. Both were selected as Pro Bowl alternates, meaning they stand to be added to the all-star game if an elected player has to drop out. Sullivan in the first alternate.
The Chicago Bears put the most players on the team with five. That list includes cornerbacks Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman; wide receiver Brandon Marshall; and defensive linemen Henry Melton and Julius Peppers.
The Packers had three players selected, including linebacker Clay Matthews; quarterback Aaron Rodgers; and center Jeff Saturday, who has been benched. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson is the lone representative from the Detroit Lions.
Players whose teams make the Super Bowl do not take part in the Pro Bowl.
Pro Bowl teams are picked after voting by fans, players and coaches that each count one-third toward the process.
Tom Pelissero contributed.